Last Sunday, Ankara said Turkish planes on a mission in the area were targeted by Greece’s S-300 air defense system, and condemned it as a “hostile operation”.
“Hey Greece, look at the history. If you continue, you will pay a heavy price”, announced the Turkish president during a meeting in the Black Sea region.
“Greece has a word: don’t forget Izmir,” referring to the city on the Aegean Sea that the Greeks call Smyrna.
Greece’s occupation of Smyrna, granted by a late World War I treaty that Turkey never recognized, ended in 1922 when the Turks recaptured it.
“Your occupation of the islands (in the Aegean Sea near Turkey, editor’s note) does not bind us in any way. We will do what is necessary when the time comes. We can come suddenly at night,” he said, using a formula often used when talking about launching an operation in Syria.
Athens accuses Turkish planes of flying over Greek islands near the Turkish border, and the conflict between the two hostile neighbors often results in patrols.
According to Turkey, Ankara for its part condemns the presence of troops on these islands, contrary to the peace agreements signed after the First and Second World Wars.
In June, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara would challenge Greek sovereignty if Athens continued to send troops to the islands.
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