Ankara stirs, exploits tensions with Greece to pressure US, Athens’ allies stand firm

By Alexandra Fotaki

With Greek-Turkish tensions having reached unprecedented levels, due to Ankara's continual threats of war with warnings that it could occupy a Greek Eastern Aegean island, the two countries are counting their allies, and Greece's appear to be standing firmly by its side in response to Turkey's apparent attempts to use its bellicose stance toward Athens as leverage to exact concessions from Washington, particularly as regards the sale of American-made F-16 fighter jets.

"They [the Greeks] are using many countries as intermediaries," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on 6 October at the first meeting of the new European Political Community in Prague, with 43 leaders in attendance.

Erdogan's indirect threats to Athens for war

The Turkish president was referring to Greece's successful efforts in international forums and in bilateral relations to seek diplomatic support and highlight Ankara's continual provocations and threats of war.

Erdogan slams third countries' involvement in Greek-Turkish disputes

Erdogan was particularly enraged when Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a 17 May address to a Joint Session to the US Congress, called on the American legislature not to approve the sale of war planes to Turkey.

He claimed Mitsotakis had violated an agreement with him not to involve third countries in bilateral disputes, which the Greek PM has denied.

Erdogan, both at the leaders' dinner where he accused Greece of escalating tensions in the Aegean, and more extensively during a news conference afterwards on 6 October, once again unleashed threats against Greece.

He reiterated that "we may come one night", implying that the Turkish Armed Forces could stage a landing and...

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