Greece has put its armed forces in the eastern Aegean on high alert, due to ongoing threats from Turkey made in recent days by senior officials in the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Although Greece has put its military on alert to show vigilance, the government is not keen to engage in a rhetorical skirmish with Ankara, media reported Sunday afternoon. However, they are monitoring Turkey’s moves for fear of a possible escalation in the summer.
Athens also looks forward to increased Turkish efforts to portray Greece as a country that challenges international conventions and laws. On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened challenge the sovereignty of the eastern islands of the Aegeanunless Athens demilitarizes them.
A day later he reported, condemned Greece as a country that does not respect its neighbors. He referred to North Macedonia, which he said had been forced by Greece to change its name as a condition for joining NATO.
“How many years did the annexation of Macedonia last? Eleven years. Why did it take 11 years? Because Greece asked Macedonia to change its name, after which it became “North Macedonia”. This led to the fact that the country was finally able to become a member of NATO, but it took 11 years,” said Cavusoglu, who also criticized the European Union.
“Conditions imposed by certain member countries EUespecially regarding North Macedonia and the Macedonians, to get a negotiation date rather than accession, are unacceptable,” he said, adding that Turkey does not want countries to change their name or dictate what nationality they should be.