Ankara: Turkish President Recep Erdogan has issued a warning and said, ‘Turkey has certainly attained success in protecting its sovereignty in the Mediterranean Sea, and no one should doubt our firm resolve on that. Anyone violating our sovereignty will have to pay a heavy price.’ Ignoring warnings of the European Union (EU), Turkey has started conducting a 12-day exercise in the region from Saturday. On the sidelines of the developments, Turkey threatened Greece as well as the EU. At the same time, the country has threatened that it will not hesitate to shoot down UAE aircraft.
Saturday marked the 98th anniversary of Turkey’s victory over Greece in the year 1922, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founded of the modern Republic of Turkey, expelled the Greek Army. Victory Day was celebrated in Turkey, and during his address, Erdogan criticized Greece and the EU. Erdogan threatened Greece and said, ‘The country trying to violate Turkey’s sovereignty is the very nation that had invaded our nation a century ago. Our nation had to face several challenges to attain freedom. Today, we will not hesitate to remind the countries that challenge Turkey’s independence, of history.’ Erdogan thereby took aim at EU as he said that no one must doubt Turkey’s resolve over the Mediterranean Sea.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay launched stinging criticism over the EU and said that ‘On the one hand, EU is proposing for talks over the Mediterranean dispute while also warning of sanctions on the other. EU’s pretentiousness is exposed through this behaviour.’ At the same time, ‘Turkey is vell versed in negotiations on peace and politics. However, Turkey never compromises when it comes to the protection of its rights and interests. Even Greece and France are well aware of it,’ Oktay said. Further, Turkey snubbed EU warning and announced holding drills in the Mediterranean Sea. The exercise that began on Saturday will continue till the 11th of September.
Warplanes of Greece and the UAE have commenced drills in the Crete Island over the Mediterranean Sea. Reports revealed that Greek and Turkish fighter jets came face to face with one another on the first day of the exercise. Simultaneously, Turkey also threatened UAE aircraft that have participated in the drills with Greece. Moreover, Turkey has threatened that it will not hesitate to shoot down UAE planes if they tried to fly close to Turkish aircraft or enter its waters.
Tensions between NATO members Turkey and Greece have escalated significantly for the past several years. To add to that, both nations have reached the brink of war over Libya war and natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea. A few days ago, Turkey claimed its sovereign rights over the region and sent its vessel for excavation in the marine region. The country has even begun to threaten Greece and Cyprus. European nations are displeased with Turkey’s aggressive activities while France has openly challenged Turkey, warning it to not cross the red line in the region.