Turkey's threats unacceptable, Greek PM says as Erdoğan doubles down

It is unacceptable for Greece to be receiving threats from a NATO ally country, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan doubled down on his rhetoric against the neighbouring country.

Greece's unwavering position is based on “dialogue, international maritime law and good neighbourly relations,” the National Herald cited Misotakis as saying in reference to tensions with Turkey during a meeting with Slovak President Zuzana Caputova in Athens.

The Greek prime minister’s remarks arrive as Erdoğan on Tuesday repeated a warning that Turkey could “come all of a sudden one night” in response to perceived Greek threats.

The Turkish leader on Saturday had suggested that a Turkish attack on its neighbour could not be ruled out amid heightened tensions between the NATO allies.

“What I’m talking about is not a dream,” AP cited the Turkish president as saying at a news conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. “If what I said was that we could come one night all of a sudden (it means) that, when the time comes, we can come suddenly one night.”

Turkey and Greece have been at odds for decades over a string of issues, including territorial claims in the Aegean Sea, hydrocarbon resources and migrants. 

Ankara maintains that Athens is violating international agreements by militarizing islands close to Turkey’s Aegean coastline. It also accuses Greek air defences of locking on to Turkish fighter jets during NATO exercises over the eastern Mediterranean while Athens has also accused Turkey of violating its airspace.

“There are some illegitimate threats against us and if these illegitimate threats continue there’s an end to one’s patience,” Erdoğan said in Sarajevo alongside  Bosnia’s three presidential representatives.

“When the time is due, necessary action will be taken because it is not a good sign to lock on radars to our planes. Such things done by Greece are not a good sign,” Erdoğan said.

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