Turkey has made a major provocation by announcing it will conduct a live fire drill in the middle of the Aegean on the day Greece celebrates one of its most important public holiday’s.

Turkey announces it will conduct live fire drill in the middle of the Aegean on Oxi Day 1
Photo Credit: Marco Florian

Turkey issued two navigational telexes (NAVTEX) from its naval station in Smyrna (Σμύρνα, Turkish: İzmir) and Attaleia (Ἀττάλεια, Antalya) to sail in the middle of the Aegean and southeast Aegean and conduct live fire exercises.

The reserve area is between the islands of Chios, Evia, Praron and Skyros and will go from from October 26-28, as well as an area between Rhodes and Kastellorizo, in international on Friday and Saturday.

Turkey “will never take a step back” from its naval ambitions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Qatar’s The Peninsula newspaper during his visit to Doha to try and secure bailout money to save Turkey’s failing economy.

“The issue of the Aegean and the Mediterranean is one that Turkey will never take a step back from. We have voiced loudly on all platforms that we will not accept any solution that disregards Turkey and the [unrecognized] Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and that confines us to the shores, and we will continue to do so. We will resolutely continue to protect and defend our rights and interests at all times and under all circumstances,” Erdoğan said.

“States disturbed by the presence of Turkey, in particular Greece, have adopted a stance that causes tension by taking unilateral actions. Behind the stance of France, known for its colonialism, which provoked Greece, the [Republic of Cyprus], and now Armenia, is the fact that Turkey has played an active role in the region,” Erdoğan continued to propagate.

Oxi (No) Day commemorates when in 1940 Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected an ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to occupy Greece. Not only did Greece successfully defend against the invasion, the first victory of the Allies in World War II, but managed to push them back deep into Albania from where they launched the invasion attempt.

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