Türkiye will not relinquish its rights in the Aegean region and will not refrain from using power granted to it by international agreements over militarisation of islands, President Erdogan warns.
Türkiye does not violate anyone's rights but at the same time it will not let anyone violate its rights, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, warning Greece to "return to its senses."
Erdogan's tweet in Greek, English and Turkish languages came after Athens' recent offensive statements against Ankara on various platforms.
Criticising Athens for the militarisation of the Aegean islands, which have non-military status according to the Lausanne and Paris agreements, Erdogan said, "We leave it to the international community to decide what it means to demand 40,000 kilometres maritime jurisdiction for Meis island, which is less than two kilometres from our country's mainland but more than 600 kilometres from Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean."
"Including demilitarised islands in various exercises and seeking to use NATO and third party countries as a tool in this unlawfulness is nothing but an effort that will have a tragic ending," he warned.
Η προσπάθεια εργαλειοποίησης του ΝΑΤΟ και τρίτων χώρων, εμπλέκοντας τους στην παρανόμια των διαφόρων στρατιωτικών ασκήσεων σε νησιά με μη στρατικοποιημένο καθεστώς, δεν είναι πάρα μια προσπάθεια που θα έχει καταστροφικό τέλος.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) June 9, 2022
Greece 'misinterprets our patience and calm'
Erdogan called on Athens to "avoid dreams, statements and actions that will lead to regret, as it did a century ago" — referring to the 1919-1923 Turkish War of Independence, which pushed Greek forces out of Türkiye — and to "return to its senses."
"Türkiye will not relinquish its rights in the Aegean and will not refrain from using the powers granted to it by international agreements for the armament of the islands when necessary," the Turkish president said.
Erdogan reminded that Ankara has paid the highest price within NATO and calmly welcomed Athens' provocations which "has not even responded to our military delegation meeting invitations for the last two years."
He noted that his Greek counterpart "misinterprets our patience and calm."
The Turkish president voiced criticism of Greece's mistreatment and denial of rights to the Turkish minority in the country despite international courts' decisions.
"Greece still continues to put pressure on the Turkish minorities in the western Thrace, Rhodes and Kos, ignoring international agreements, universal human rights and the values of the European Union of which it is a member," he said.
Βλέπουμε όμως ότι η υπομονή μας και η ψυχραιμία που επιδεικνύουμε εκλαμβάνεται λανθασμένα από τον ομόλογο μας.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) June 9, 2022