Athens’ occupation of Aegean islands ‘not our concern,’ President Erdogan says, adding: ‘When time comes, we will do what’s necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we can come overnight’
Amid tensions between Türkiye and Greece, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Athens on Saturday to look at history, saying: “If you go too far, the price will be heavy.”
“Greece, look at history, go back in time; if you go too far, the price will be heavy. We have one thing to say to Greece: Remember Izmir,” Erdogan said at Türkiye’s largest technology event, Teknofest, in the province of Samsun on the Black Sea coast.
Izmir is a province on Türkiye’s western Aegean Sea coast that Ankara liberated from Greek occupation in 1922 as part of its War of Independence.
Erdogan warned Greece, saying that Athens’ “occupation” of Aegean Sea islands “is not our concern.”
“When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we can come overnight.”
Tensions between the two neighboring countries rose after Greece lodged a complaint with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to delete a tweet by the NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) to mark Türkiye’s 100th Victory Day, which commemorates the resounding defeat of occupying Greek armies at the hands of Turks in the 1922 Battle of Dumlupinar.
LANDCOM on Tuesday tweeted a post to mark the 100th Victory Day. However, it tweeted a new post on Thursday congratulating Ankara, saying: “We are thankful to have Türkiye as our host nation.”
Türkiye criticized NATO for deleting the tweet, calling it “unacceptable,” and saying that the alliance “has greatly discredited its corporate identity and prestige” by deleting the tweet upon a “baseless request” by Greece.