ATHENS – Turkey has warned Greece that a missile could hit the Greek capital unless “you keep calm”, further ramping up its rhetoric against Greece.
“Now we have started making our own missiles,” the Turkish president said. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech on Sunday in Samsun, northern Turkey. “Of course, this production scares the Greeks. When you say ‘typhoon’, the Greeks get scared and say, ‘It will hit Athens.’ Well, of course it will.”
Tefun, which is Turkish for “typhoon”, is a short-range ballistic missile developed by Turkey. The missile, tested over the Black Sea in October and hit a target at about 560 kilometres, has more than twice the range of existing missiles in Turkey’s arsenal.
“If you don’t keep calm, if you try to buy some [to arm yourself] Here and there, from America to the islands, a country like Turkey will not become a spectacle. It has to do something,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey has ramped up its rhetoric against Greece in recent months as what Ankara sees as a growing military build-up on Greek Aegean islands close to Turkey’s coastline. Erdoğan has repeatedly said, in a subtly veiled threat: “We may come down suddenly one night when the time comes.”
Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut CAVUSOGLU warned Greece to stop militarizing the Aegean islands, otherwise, Ankara would “take the necessary steps on the ground.”
Despite being NATO allies, the neighbours have been at loggerheads for decades over several bilateral disputes, including maritime boundaries, overlapping claims on their continental shelves, and the long-running Cyprus dispute.
Earlier this year, Greece called To end Turkey’s inflammatory rhetoric on its Western allies or risk another Ukraine situation.