ANKARA – While often disagreeing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s autocratic rule, the major opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said he should challenge the sovereignty of some Greek islands and even invade them.
“If you have the heart for it, take the step on the occupied and armed islands. We will support you,” CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu was quoted by Turkish media as saying in response to one of a series of questions posed to him by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the Grand National Assembly, said Kathimerini.
That would likely lead to an all-out war between the countries and put the United States and NATO on the spot about what to do as all three belong to the defense alliance and the US renewed a military cooperation deal with Greece.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg admitted he wants no part of the troubles between Greece and Turkey and refused to intervene over Turkey repeatedly violating Greek airspace and planning to hunt for oil and gas off Greek islands.
Turkey also said it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its maritime boundaries to 12 miles, which would cut Turkey off from access to the Aegean where it wants to look for energy.
Turkey also has demanded that Greece take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey, citing the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that Turkey doesn’t recognize unless invoking to its advantage – Erdogan said he doesn’t accept that part of the agreement ceding some islands to Turkey, admitting he now wants them back.
“It is imperative that we increase the pressure in the Mediterranean and the Aegean,” the CHP said. “These things aren’t handled by sending out a ship, then pulling I back and saying: ‘I wish Biden would call me’,” he added, in reference to US President Joe Biden.