Erdogan ramps up on Greek invasion threat as Turkey ready to strike

Erdogan issues warning to Greece

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Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads for decades over who holds overall control of the Aegean Islands, with a recent oil deal between Ankara and Libya further fanning the discontent. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said this week during a meeting in Prague that he is ready to take up arms against Athens and anyone else who “bothers” Turkey. Asked whether he was serious with his threat, Erdogan told the press: “This not only applies to Greece but whiter country bothers us, attacks us, our response will always be to say that we may suddenly come in the middle of the night.

“They should know and understand it like this.

“As you understood what this is all about, perhaps they [Greek authorities] should have understood it as such as well.”

President Erdogan said there was nothing worth discussing with Greece at the moment and accused Athens of basing its policies on “lies.”

He said: “They are not where they are supposed to be.

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“Their entire policy is based on lies, they are not honest. We have nothing to discuss with Greece.”

Ankara announced earlier this week they had struck an agreement with Tripoli to conduct joint exploration of reserves of hydrocarbon in Libya’s national territory.

Greece has however hit back at the memorandum claiming it would infringe on Greek waters.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hit back at the claims, and warned Athens’ partners in NATO should “not expect friendship” were they to back Greece’s alleged control over the area.

“Their entire policy is based on lies, they are not honest. We have nothing to discuss with Greece.”

Ankara announced earlier this week they had struck an agreement with Tripoli to conduct joint exploration of reserves of hydrocarbon in Libya’s national territory.

Greece has however hit back at the memorandum claiming it would infringe into Greek waters.

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Mr Cavusoglu said: “The ones standing with the Greeks just for the sake of pleasing the Greeks should not expect friendship from us.

“Because Turkey will not bow down to such acts. Turkey will take necessary steps in Cyprus.”

President Erdogan earlier in the year confirmed Turkey’s plans to increase its military presence in Cyprus after the Greek Cypriot administration saw Washington lift an arms embargo on the area.

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Cyprus has been split between a Turkish and a Greek administration since 1974 but the Greek section is the only one internationally recognised.

In a recent briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price appeared to offer Athens support in the ongoing tensions with Turkey over Aegean Sea overall control.

Mr Price said: “Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is not in question.

“But we call on countries, including our allies, to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty and avoid actions that inflame tensions.”

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