On Saturday, the Turkish president (Tayyip Erdogan) threatened Greece with reprisals if it continued to violate Turkish airspace in the Aegean Sea.
Greece will pay a “high price” if it continues to violate Turkish airspace and “harass” Turkish planes in the Aegean Sea, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Saturday. Last Sunday, Ankara said that Turkish planes on a mission in this area had been targeted by Greece’s S-300 air defense system, and denounced a “hostile action”.
“Hey Greece, look at history. If you continue, you will pay a high price”, declared the Turkish president during a meeting in the Black Sea region. “We have one word for Greece: don’t forget Izmir,” referring to the Aegean city that Greeks call Smyrna.
“We can arrive suddenly at night”
The occupation of Smyrna by Greece, to whom it was awarded by a late World War I treaty that Turkey never recognized, had ended when the Turks retook it in 1922. “Your Occupation islands (note: from the Aegean Sea close to Turkey) does not bind us in any way. When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. We can arrive suddenly at night,” he said, using a formula often used when he spoke of launching an operation in Syria.
Athens accuses Turkish planes of flying over Greek islands close to the Turkish border, and the dispute between the two enemy neighbors results in frequent patrols. Ankara for its part denounces a presence of troops on these islands contrary, according to Turkey, to the peace treaties signed after the First and Second World Wars.
In June, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that if Athens continued to send troops to the islands, Ankara would challenge Greek sovereignty.