Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a warning against Greece over what Ankara calls recent “harassment” of Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.
“Hey Greek, look at history. Go back to history. If you go too far, it will cost a lot. We have only one sentence for Greece, don’t forget Izmir,” Erdogan said on Saturday at the aerospace and technology festival Teknofest in the Black Sea province of Samsun.
He was referring to the withdrawal of the Greek army from Turkey’s western province of Izmir during the country’s Independence War in 1922, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Occupying the islands does not bind us. We will do what is necessary when the time comes. As we say, we can come suddenly one night,” he added.
Turkey recently accused Greece of harassing twice the Turkish jets carrying out NATO missions over the Aegean and Mediterranean.
Ankara said the Greek warplanes locking their radars on Turkish F-16s on August 22 and August 24, while Athens rejected the claims.
The relations between the two NATO allies have long been at odds over a series of issues, including maritime and energy disputes in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.
To seek out diplomatic solutions to their disputes, the two countries restarted their consultative talks in 2021 after a five-year break.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also initiated a military-to-military de-confliction mechanism between Turkey and Greece, but meetings within the mechanism have been stalled since the end of the fourth round.