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Greece responds to Turkey’s open threat to occupy Aegean islands

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In a major escalation of aggressive rhetoric by Ankara, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay signaled on Saturday that the Erdogan government has set its eyes on taking over the Greek islands close to Turkey.

In an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency, Oktay held up a map of the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean and told viewers: “Think about Sakiz [Chios]. Just one kilometer away from the Turkish coast. Where is Athens?”

“Look where is Meis [Kastellorizo],” he continued. “It’s just two kilometers from the [Turkish city of] Kas. Don’t my citizens in Kas see this? Every morning when they wake up they cry their heart out.”

Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay signaled on Saturday that the Erdogan government has set its eyes on taking over the Greek islands close to Turkey.

The Vice-President added that Turkey will not allow this to continue, saying “we will tear up this map and we will tear up those who think of this map. We will crush them when necessary.”

He also threatened Greece with war if it expands its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean.

“If Athens’ attempts to expand its territorial waters isn’t a cause of war, then what is?” Oktay asked.

In response, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement:

“Turkey’s unprecedented belief that it can threaten neighboring countries with the use of force when they exercise their legal rights is contrary to contemporary political culture and also the fundamental provisions of international law.

“The exercise of Greece’s sovereign rights is not subject to any form of Turkish veto.”

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