Erdoğan’s threats against Greece reach the front pages of the Turkish press

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against Greece are occupying a prominent place on the headlines of the pro-government press of Turkey.

Erdoğan on Thursday said: “Demilitarise the islands. I’m not kidding”, while he continued in the same atmosphere with his posts – in Greek – on social media networks.

With the headline: “I’m not kidding” the Hürriyet newspaper notes: “Very harsh warning from Erdoğan to Greece. The President of the Republic, Erdoğan, warned with very harsh words Greece that, in violation of the agreements, equipped its islands in the Aegean: I am not joking, I am talking seriously, be mindful”.

The newspaper emphasises that the opposition in Greece is talking about peace.

“At the time of the repeated anti-Turkish statements by the Greek government, the former prime minister and leader of the opposition gave a message of peace,” Sabah wrote.

“President Erdoğan warned Greece that equips the islands: Get together and stay away from dreams that just like a century ago, you will end up regretting them”, pointing to the title: “I’m not kidding.”

In the same vein, the newspaper Türkiye: “The general put on his uniform and warned Athens one last time.”

Yeni Şafak speaks of “a harsh warning from Erdoğan”.

It should be noted that the opposition newspapers are more concerned with the poor economic situation in the country and not with Erdoğan’s threats against Greece.

The Greek foreign ministry on Thursday published a series of 16 maps on its website that seek to demonstrate and explain the illegal and revisionist nature of Turkey’s assertions and actions concerning the Greek islands from 1973 until the present.

“In an effort to increase the wider public’s awareness of Turkish revisionism, the attached maps depict in a vivid and irrefutable way the Turkish illegal unilateral actions and claims,” a foreign ministry announcement said.

As the announcement explained, the maps begin chronologically with the status quo enshrined in the Lausanne (1923) and Paris (1947) Treaties.

“Turkish claims are then presented, beginning with the illegal licensing of the Turkish state oil company (TPAO) for exploration of oil fields in areas of the Greek continental shelf in the North Aegean in 1973, and continuing with the attempt to usurp Greece’s responsibility for Search and Rescue services in half of the Aegean in the 1980s, the ‘grey zone’ theory in the 1990s, further escalation with the granting of new licenses in the Eastern Mediterranean, the endorsement of the ‘Blue Homeland’ as an official doctrine, the ‘Turkish-Libyan Memorandu’, reaching as far as the Turkish theory of the demilitarisation status of the Aegean islands,” the minister said.

“The above-mentioned maps document the extent of Turkish revisionism in order to upend the status quo, violating International Law and the International Law of the Sea, and threatening peace, security and stability in our region.”

The maps can be viewed on the ministry’s website at the LINK.

Greece is not going to indulge in constant statements that will fuel the escalation of tension with Turkey, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday from Thessaloniki, noting that the main lesson learnt from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that revisionism is leading nowhere.

“I think that the Greek side has shown its intentions. We are not going to indulge in insulting statements, irregular, illegal, irrational claims, and allegations beyond the limits of international law in a constant escalation with neighbor Turkey,” Dendias said answering a question before the start of the proceedings of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, in the framework of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

He added: “We always look forward to resolving all disputes within the framework of International Law, the International Law of the Sea, with a clear priority of protecting the territorial integrity of all states. What I think is important, for Europe, for the world, is to understand that revisionism is leading nowhere. I think that this is the great lesson learnt after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so that we can collaborate on the real basis of the problems, namely the creation of prosperity and cooperation among the peoples.”

Regarding the summit of foreign ministers and the summit of leaders, in the framework of the Process for Cooperation of the countries of Southeast Europe, which is taking place in Thessaloniki with Greece concluding its term as presiding country, Dendias said that the agenda of the discussions include the European perspective, European values, the rule of law, human rights, stability and economic development.

READ MORE: Erdoğan tweets in Greek, Tsipras responds in Turkish: “Greece will protect its sovereignty against any threat.”