As Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to invade Greece, Athens responds

Sep. 7, 2022
In what looks like a worsening spiral in relations between rivals Turkey and Greece, Turkey’s president doubled down on a thinly veiled invasion threat and Athens responded that it is ready to defend its sovereignty. Turkey and Greece have decades-old disputes over an array of issues, including territorial claims in the Aegean Sea and disagreements over the airspace.
The friction between the neighbours has brought the NATO allies to the brink of war three times in the last half-century. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could come all of a sudden one night in response to perceived Greek threats, suggesting a Turkish attack on its neighbour cannot be ruled out.
Erdogan has previously used that phrase to hint at looming military operations into Syria and Iraq against Kurdish militants that Turkey deems existential threats. He made good on that threat several times.
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Erdogan threatens Greek islands with invasion ‘at night’

Sep. 5, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Greece to stop “militarising” Greek islands neighbouring Turkey and warned that Turkish military forces could come “at night”.
The threat comes after tensions between the two neighbours have become increasingly heightened in recent months.
“We can come suddenly, in the middle of the night [..] if you Greeks go too far, then the price will be heavy,” Erdoğan said in a statement seen by Athens as severe escalation.
According to the Greek Defence Ministry, Turkey has increased its violations of Greece’s airspace, especially by using drones, such as Βayraktar, which are also used in Ukraine.
Kathimerini reported that at least half of Greek airspace’s violations in 2022 involved drones.
Commenting on Erdoğan’s statement, Angelos Syrigos, a lawmaker of the ruling New Democracy party and international politics professor, said the “we will come suddenly at night” statement refers to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
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