Turkish President Erdogan calls French and Greek leaders “greedy and incompetent”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday criticized the French and Greek leaders, calling them “greedy and incompetent” for defying Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.Mr Erdogan’s charge came as the country celebrated a 1922 victory over Greek troops during Turkey’s War of Independence.

Ankara and Athens are now fighting over large offshore gas fields, and France’s support for Greece has drawn it into a serious crisis for the NATO military alliance.

Cyprus is a third country, although much smaller, vying for access to the large deposits of energy discovered in the region.

Mr Erdogan asked the newly commissioned officers in Ankara: “Do the Greeks accept what might happen to them because of their greedy and incompetent leaders?

“Do the French know the price they are going to pay because of their greedy and incompetent leaders? ”

The crisis between putative NATO allies began on August 10 when the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis entered Greek waters, after which the two sides began to organize naval exercises.

French frigates and fighter jets joined the Greek side and kept watch on Turkish ships while Paris warned Erdogan not to overplay his hand.

Sunday, Paris denounced “escalating behavior” on the part of Ankara.

Ships from Cyprus, Italy and the United States also participated in the Greek exercises, while the United States and Italy also organized exercises with Turkish units.

Mr Erdogan, however, called on Greece and France in particular, and said on Sunday: “When the time comes to fight, we will not hesitate to make sacrifices.

“The question is: when they stand up against us in the Mediterranean, are they ready to make the same sacrifices?

“To our enemies we say: bring him!”

Turkey announced new military maneuvers in northern Cyprus on Saturday.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also warned Greece not to extend its coastal zone in the Ionian Sea by six nautical miles under international maritime law, saying it would be a “casus belli” which could lead to armed conflict. .

Updated: Aug 31, 2020 10:10 AM



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