Greece dismisses Erdoğan's 1922 war comments

In the wake of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s references to the war with Greece in 1922 and to “despicable Greeks,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou responded by saying that the Turkish leader “has chosen to distort history in order to serve his revisionist narrative”.

“Greece, on the contrary, in its long history, has been writing history,” Oikonomou said. “Greece, whenever necessary, knows perfectly well how to defend its rights, vigorously and effectively.”

Greece can mobilise its traditional allies and the force of international law to deter Turkey’s escalating provocations, he indicated, adding that the country’s defence capability is strong enough to counter any threat, if necessary.

“Our allies are on our side, justice is on our side; and we can effectively deter challenges to our rightful claims,” Oikonomou said.

Speaking on the occasion of the centenary of the Greek-Turkish war, Erdoğan celebrated the “great attack” of the Turks against the Greeks, whom he presented as “pawns” in the service of “treacherous” foreign powers, with an eye on the events of 1922.

In a similar vein, Erdoğan’s nationalist ally and governmental partner Devlet Bahçeli also stoked tensions on Monday when referring to an alleged incident on Sunday where Greek missile defence systems were supposed to have locked onto Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean, something Greece denies.

“Stop pursuing this madness,” said Bahçeli about the Greek government, calling on Athens to “get it together” soon or face consequences that will dwarf those of the Asia Minor Campaign in 1922.

(This story was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)

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