Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned that his country’s latest ballistic missiles could reach Athens, before reiterating Türkiye’s demand that Greece stop militarizing the Aegean islands.
“Now we have started building our own rockets,” Erdogan said in a speech on Sunday. “Of course, this product scared the Greeks. When you say ‘Tayfun’, the Greeks get scared and say ‘It will attack Athens’. Well, of course.”
Turkey test shot their ‘Tayfun’ ballistic missile in October, is said to have launched the missile 561 kilometers (348 mi) along the Black Sea coast. The short-range missile was secretly developed by Ankara-based defense contractor Roketsan, and is said to be capable of hitting land or sea targets at a range of nearly 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
“If you can’t keep your cool, if you try to buy something [to arm yourself] … a country like Türkiye will not be left out.” he continued. “It has to do something.”
Erdogan was referring to Greece moving American armored vehicles to the islands of Samos and Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. report by Turkish state media in September. While Ankara claims that this alleged militarization goes against a series of early 20th-century treaties, Athens insists it has the right to station troops on the islands.
Although Greece and Türkiye are NATO allies, the two countries are historical rivals and have several ongoing disputes. These include the controversy over control of several Aegean islands, the dispute over the right to drill oil in the Mediterranean Sea, and the long-running dispute over the status of Cyprus.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with a delegation of US lawmakers in October, praising “extremely good” the relationship between Athens and Washington in the negotiations. Mitsotakis also stated that Greece would not “accept acts that infringe upon one’s sovereignty or sovereign rights” by Türkiye.
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