Turkish nationalist leader warns Greece over armaments program

Turkish nationalist leader warns Greece over armaments program

The head of Turkey’s main nationalist party, Devlet Bahceli, has slammed Greece’s armaments program while accusing Athens of violating the country’s maritime rights.

Speaking during a parliamentary meeting of his Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Tuesday, Bahceli said Greece should not rely too much on the fighter jets and the frigates it purchased from France.

“No one should flex their muscles against us or make cowardly threats. The Aegean will either be a sea of peace and tranquility or the Turkish nation knows how to sign a new victory with their blood or their lives,” said Bahceli, a key ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

The MHP leader also accused Greece of violating the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, while allegedly seeking to “invade” Turkish maritime jurisdiction.

“The constant opportunism of Greece shows it is quickly advancing towards becoming a rogue state,” Bahceli said. 

“Greece must return to the law of good neighbourliness while there is still time,” he said.

Greece says it maintains the right to extend its territorial waters from the current six to 12 nautical miles around its Aegean islands, in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Turkey has long said it would consider the move as a cause for war (casus belli), arguing that Greek islands would effectively block its access to the Aegean.

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