Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan is visibly annoyed about the heightening of Greek-American relations and the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Washington, his meeting with US President Joe Biden, and his the speech and the warm reception he received in Congress.
On Thursday, the day to commemorate the Greek Genocide in Pontus, the Turks went so far as to reverse the historical reality by accusing Greece massacres in Tripoli in 1821 and in Asia Minor a century later.
Erdoğan did not hide his frustration with both the level of Greek-American relations and armaments supply. Speaking to students in Ankara, Erdoğan attacked Greece about the country’s armaments programs, US bases on Greek soil and Cyprus.
“See what is happening with Greece. It owes the West 400 billion euros, but it is given weapons and the US approval to build bases. On the other hand, when they meet with us, they say ‘we want to develop a relationship with you’. But they say that in Cyprus they do not see positively the solution of the two states.”
At the same time, on the occasion of the request of Sweden and Finland for NATO membership, the Turkish president referred again to Greece, in order to explain the reasons he is opposed to the enlargement of the Alliance, repeating the accusations that the country “protects” terrorists.
“In the past, we gave the approval for this country to join (including Greece in NATO). We will not enter this “trip” for the second time. With regard to Sweden and Finland, we have made it clear to those in charge that we will say no. And so we will continue,” Erdoğan said.
“What happened when they returned? For example, the United States has set up a base in Alexandroupolis. And the terrorist organisation FETO travels to Europe via Greece. And Greece ignores the list of terrorists we gave them. And they continue to protect them.”
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called for a “restoration of neutrality” from the Americans and publicly expressed Ankara ‘s dissatisfaction with the US policy in Greek-Turkish relations.
In a meeting he had with his American counterpart Antony Blinken, immediately after Mitsotakis’ speech in Congress, Çavuşoğlu referred to what happened between them.
He said he expected a “restoration of neutrality” from the Americans between Greece and Turkey, saying he had received a promise from the US Secretary of State.
“In our meeting, I told Blinken that they always kept the balance in the issues of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. I told him that lately, they have lost that balance. He himself told me that they will keep the balance. The United States must be in favour of the law,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Obviously annoyed about the level of Greek-American relations, Turkish Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar also spoke about Greece’s new armaments programs of the country.
“We expect Greece to see the events globally and to make correct and logical decisions. It is really nothing but fictitious for a country with so much debt to run for new alliances and weapons when there is a NATO alliance,” he said, referring to Turkey-Greece relations.
A little later, and on the anniversary of the Greek Genocide in Pontus, Akar publicly attacked Greece once again.
“We completely reject the claims of the Greek authorities about Pontus, which reject all kinds of rational and logical truths and persistently continue their efforts to distort the historical reality, ignoring it,” he said.
“We condemn the immoral attitude of Greek politicians who openly lie both in front of their own people and in front of the whole world, making these baseless allegations,” the defence minister said, provocatively distorting the historical reality.
“If Greece is looking for a shameful reality of the past, it must face the bloody horrors of its ancestors who brutally tried to invade and occupy Anatolia.
“This crime against humanity committed by the Greeks, who carried out barbaric massacres in Anatolia without discrimination between children, women and the elderly, was included in the Report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Allied Powers and was also recognised and recorded by the Lausanne Peace Treaty.”
Erdoğan’s party spokesman: “Legal overflights”
The spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Ömer Çelik, also appeared against Greece, while accusing members of the US Senate and House of Representatives of “applauding Congress when one NATO ally accuses another.”
He also have his own interpretation of Turkey’s illegal overflights of Greek islands .
“You are constantly talking about overflights over the islands. Well, by what right do you militarise the islands which should be demilitarised?” he said without sensing the irony of why the Greek islands need to be militarised following these constant provocations.
“There is no illegality ,” Çelik added. “They will not solve their problems like that. With Turkey they will sit at the table, with Turkey they will solve their affairs. This has been the case in the past. It does not matter, let them be applauded and all the parliaments of the world, it has no value.”