by Aggelos Skordas
Only five days after his call to Greeks not to forget the 9thof September 1922, when Smyrna fell to the Turkish Army, and accusing Athens for challenging Ankara, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim proceeded to a new round of derogatory comments towards Greece. Specifically, according to Turkish NTV, Yildirim said that Greece should not be taken seriously as it is only “the size of one Turkish city”.
Referring to the lately tensioned relations between the two neighbouring countries, the Turkish Premier was quoted as saying: “Do not take Greece into account. It is a country the size of one of our cities. It is smaller than Istanbul”, while adding that “as long as they [Greeks] stay quiet we have nothing to say”, in what is seen as yet another clear threat on Greece’s sovereign rights.
Yildirim’s new provocative remarks were made while addressing a university, as data showed Turkey lagging behind Greece in terms of higher education accessibility.
It should be reminded that on Sunday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office issued a strongly worded statement underlining that “Greece is a state governed by the rule of law and has a Prime Minister who both respects and knows the processes of Greek justice, and not a sultan who is in a position to make any promises to influence its decisions”, in a clear implication on Erdogan’s despotic rule.
The Greco-Turkish war of words has reached its peak during the last few weeks, while at the same time the tense in the Aegean Sea is increasing due to daily Turkish violations of the Greek airspace and territorial waters. On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet flew over the Greek island of Farmakonisi while on Wednesday a Turkish patrol boat crossed over into Greek territorial waters for a short space of time near the islet of Paspargos, off the coast of Chios, amid a migrants rescue operation carried out by the Hellenic Coast Guard.