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Greek Foreign Minister denounces Turkish leader’s missile threat

The Greek government blasted Turkey on Monday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened over the weekend to hit Athens with ballistic missiles.

“It is unacceptable and universally reprehensible that threats of missile attacks against Greece are made by an allied country, a member of NATO,” said Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday, who arrived in Brussels for a meeting. foreign affairs of the European Union.

“North Korean attitudes cannot and should not enter the North Atlantic Alliance,” he said.

Speaking at a public meeting with young people in the northern Turkish town of Samsun on Saturday, Erdogan said Turkey had started manufacturing its own short-range ballistic missiles called Tayfun, which, he said, “frightened the Greeks”.

“(Greeks) say ‘It can hit Athens,'” said Erdogan, whose comments aired on Sunday evening. “Of course it will. If you don’t stay calm, if you try to buy things from the United States and elsewhere (to arm) the islands, a country like Turkey… has to do something.”

Relations between neighbors and NATO allies have long been strained, with the two sides divided over a range of issues, including territorial claims in the Aegean Sea and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. They have been on the brink of war three times in the last half century.

Turkey has stepped up the rhetoric in recent months, with Turkish government officials saying Athens’ alleged breaches of international treaties challenge the sovereignty of some Greek islands. Erdogan also threatened to land Turkish troops in Greece “suddenly one night”. Even so, a missile attack threat is highly unusual.

“Mr. Erdogan must know well that our country cannot be terrorized or intimidated,” Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou told a press briefing in Athens. Erdogan thinks that as many times as he repeats the irrational and the unjust, he can make it rational and just. It will not arrive.”

Greece, Oikonomou said, “is absolutely determined, is always ready, ready to defend international legality, to defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar accused Greece of increasing tensions with “unreasonable, illogical and illegal demands and demands, as well as constant provocative actions and aggressive rhetoric”.

Akar was apparently referring to Turkish accusations that Greece was deploying troops and weapons to the Aegean islands in violation of treaties which require the islands not to be militarised.

“It is not possible for us to accept any fait accompli,” the Defense Ministry quoted Akar as saying during a video conference Monday with military commanders. “We expect some Greek politicians and military to immediately abandon their intransigent and provocative attitudes (which they adopted) for domestic political purposes, focus on solving problems through dialogue and learn from history. Those who want a better future should turn away from the mistakes of yesterday and today.


Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey

The Independent Gt

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