ATHENS – Adding to growing belligerent outbursts, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his country’s victory in the 1922 war with Greece to lambast what he called “despicable Greeks,” drawing fire from Greece’s government.
New Democracy spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said the war references during a time when Turkey said it would be a cause for war if Greece doubled its maritime boundaries to 12 miles showed Erdogan trying to make history fit his notions.
Oikonomou said that Erdogan “has chosen to distort history in order to serve his revisionist narrative. Greece, on the contrary, in its long history, has been writing history,” and will defend itself.
He said that “Greece, whenever necessary, knows perfectly well how to defend its rights, vigorously and effectively,” after Erdogan complained about Greece building an arsenal and making foreign alliances and mutual defense pacts.
Oikonomou said Greece can engage allies and international law – which Turkey doesn’t always recognize – to counter any aggression or provocations as Turkish fighter jets keep violating Greek air space.
“Our allies are on our side, justice is on our side; and we can effectively deter challenges to our rightful claims,” Oikonomou added, said Kathimerini in a report over the ongoing verbal duels.
Speaking on the occasion of the centenary of the Greek-Turkish war, Erdogan celebrated the “great attack” of the Turks against the Greeks, whom he presented as “pawns” in the service of “treacherous” foreign powers in 1922.
Erdogan’s nationalist ally and governmental partner Devlet Bahceli ramped up tensions when he referred to an alleged incident of Greek missile defense systems locking on to Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean, which Greece denied.
“Stop pursuing this madness,” said Bahceli about the Greek government, calling on Athens to “get it together” or face consequences far worse than the Asia Minor Campaign in 1922, the report added.