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Erdogan Warns Greece Over Troops on Aegean Islands…

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned Greece to demilitarize islands within the Aegean Sea, pronouncing he change into “no longer joking” and posting tweets in Greek and English, in a marked harshening of rhetoric in opposition to Turkey’s neighbor and historic regional rival.Turkey says Greece has been constructing a…

Erdogan Warns Greece Over Troops on Aegean Islands…

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned Greece to demilitarize islands within the Aegean Sea, pronouncing he change into “no longer joking” and posting tweets in Greek and English, in a marked harshening of rhetoric in opposition to Turkey’s neighbor and historic regional rival.

Turkey says Greece has been constructing a armed forces presence in violation of treaties that guarantee the unarmed online page of the Aegean islands. It argues the islands had been ceded to Greece on the condition they remained demilitarized.

Athens counters that the islands, which were garrisoned for many years and lie within shut striking distance of a successfully-organized Turkish touchdown quick, can’t be left undefended.

“We invite Greece to dwell arming the islands that enjoy non-armed forces online page and to act in step with international agreements,“ Erdogan mentioned on the closing day of armed forces workout routines taking shriek shut to Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean cruise. “I’m no longer joking, I’m talking seriously. This nation is decided.”

Greece and Turkey are NATO allies, but enjoy a historic past of disputes over a bunch of points, including mineral exploration within the jap Mediterranean and rival claims within the Aegean Sea.

The two international locations came shut to battle three times within the past half century, the closing being in 1996 over possession of an uninhabited jap Aegean islet. Nonetheless Ankara has only recently been questioning Greece’s sovereignty over successfully-organized, inhabited Greek islands — Rhodes, Kos and Lesbos, for instance, would meet the description of “militarized” islands.

“We warn Greece to dwell far off from dreams, statements and actions that can end result in remorse, as it did a century ago, and to strategy aid to its senses,” the Turkish chief mentioned. A hundred years ago, Turkey defeated Greece after a three-yr battle that noticed Greek armies invade western Turkey.

Greece maintains Turkey has intentionally misinterpreted the treaties and says it has appropriate grounds to defend itself following adverse actions by Ankara, including a lengthy-standing threat of battle if Greece prolonged its territorial waters.

Later Thursday, Erdogan made the uncommon switch of tweeting in Greek and English, pronouncing: “As Turkey is no longer going to resign its rights within the Aegean, this is no longer going to hesitate either to fabricate exercise of its rights coming up from international treaties on the topic of the islands’ demilitarization.”

Greek authorities spokesman Giannis Oikonomou commented that Erdogan’s desire of Greek change into “primary.”

“Greek is identified as the language of motive, freedom and justice,” he mentioned. “The ways Turkey has chosen attain no longer fall below any of these classes.”

Earlier, Oikonomou mentioned Greece change into facing Turkish “provocations” with “silent and backbone.”

“It’s far obvious to all americans that our nation has upgraded its geostrategic and geopolitical footprint as successfully as its deterrent capacity to be ready at any time to defend its national sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he mentioned.

In the intervening time, Erdogan also reiterated Turkey’s decision to open a new disagreeable-border offensive in Syria with the purpose of pushing aid Syrian Kurdish militia and developing a 30-kilometer (19-mile) buffer zone. Turkey regards the militia as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Birthday party, or PKK.

“We can by no way allow the institution of fright corridors along our nation’s borders, and we are going to unquestionably entire the missing parts of our security zone,” the Turkish chief mentioned.

Erdogan continued: “We hope that none of our right allies and chums will oppose our official questions of security.”

Erdogan has mentioned that Turkey’s new offensive in Syria would target the towns of Mammoth Rifat and Manbij, which lie west of the Euphrates River and from the save the Syrian Kurdish opponents open assaults on Turkish targets.

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