Erdogan warns Greece over Aegean airspace violations
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Greece on Saturday that if it continued to "harass" Turkish planes over the Aegean, it would pay a "heavy price."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a warning to Greece on Saturday for violating Turkish airspace. He stated that Greece would pay a "heavy price" if it continued to "harass" Turkish jets over the Aegean during Turkey's largest technology festival, Teknofest, in the province of Samsun on the Black Sea coast.
"Hey Greece, take a look at history. If you go further, you will pay a heavy price," Erdogan told a rally in the Black Sea region.
Ankara has been accusing Athens of provocations, which it says undermines efforts for peace. The two countries have been head to head with territorial disputes in sea and air, which lead to air force patrols and interception missions almost daily.
"We have only one word to tell Greece: Do not forget Izmir (Smyrna in Greek)," Erdogan said, referring to the end of the Greek occupation after Turkish forces entered the city in the Aegean coast in 1922.
"Your occupation of the islands does not bind us," Erdogan said.
"When the time comes, we will do what's necessary. As we say, we may come suddenly one night," he added, using his often-repeated words when he talked about launching an operation into neighboring Syria.
Turkish authorities accused the Greeks of establishing a military presence in the islands of the Aegean Sea in violation, according to them, of two peace treaties signed after World Wars I and II.
Under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, these islands were required to be demilitarized, hence any troops or weapons on the islands are absolutely prohibited.
In June, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Greece is breaking treaties by arming Aegean islands, warning that the islands' sovereignty will be called into question if they are not demilitarized.
Most recent updates reveal that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Greece of causing instability in the region after radar recordings divulged to NATO exposed an S-300 air defense system tracking a Turkish air forces F-16 aircraft performing a reconnaissance flight 10,000 feet west of Rhodes Island on August 23.
The Greek side denied the incident, with sources arguing that "Greece's S-300 missile system has never put a lock on Turkish F-16 jets." It accused Turkey of distorting reality and spreading false facts when accusing Greece of targeting its military aviation.