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Politics

Turkish Extremist Says US Bases in Greece Threaten Turkey

ANKARA – Following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials, the leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (NHP) said that United States military bases on Greece are a direct threat to Turkey.

“Greece is playing with fire,” NHP leader Devlet Bahceli said in an address to Turkey’s Parliament, according to a local news outlet and that he added “America is using the Greek side as a pawn,” said Fox News.

The US and Greece recently renewed a military cooperation deal in which more American bases could be located in Greece at the same time that US President Joe Biden wants to sell Turkey more F-16s that could be used against Greece.

The agreement will give the U.S. access to three bases on mainland Greece along with the long-standing US Naval base on Souda Bay on the island of Crete, the deal irking Turkey further.

The Turkish political leader accused the U.S. of using already rocky Greek-Turkish relations to try and “push (Turkey) into a hot conflict environment,” with Greece having put its military on alert, anticipating more provocations from Turkey which has continued to violate Greek airspace.

Erdogan is also angry that Mitsotakis, during an address to the US Congress said – without naming Turkey – that the US lawmakers should block Biden’s hope to sell Turkey more fighter jets and upgrade its air fleet.

Turkey also is demanding that Greece remove troops from some Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast, citing the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that Turkey doesn’t recognize unless invoking to its advantage, as it does.

“The subject of 12 islands is our wound that has not yet healed. They have been unjustly usurped from Turkey by foot tricks,” Bacheli said. “The stolen property must be returned to its owner,” not noting that Turkey has seized Greek-Cypriot property on the northern side invaded by Turkey in 1974.

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