In light of the new escalation on the part of Ankara, which this time came from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in New York with the unsubstantiated accusations by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Greece, Athens is preparing to counter the claims with actual facts.
The immediate response came from Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who later on Tuesday called out the Turkish leader and Ankara’s stance on migration, which Erdogan tried to weaponize claiming Greece was drowning people.
Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said Greece is not intimidated and is not tainted “by the gibberish and the unsubstantiated things said from the podium of the UN General Assembly.” He described Erdogan’s speech as an unprecedented attempt to spread fake news and vulgar propaganda, while completely distorting reality with unsubstantiated claims in contrast to what is actually happening.
Moreover, in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to comprehensively present Greece’s positions and expose the malicious nature of the statements by Erdogan.
However, beyond the diplomatic and communication aspect, there is reportedly skepticism in Athens about the motive behind Erdogan’s statements. Given that tension is steadily growing both in the Aegean with Turkish overflights and in the East Mediterranean with the possible expansion of Ankara’s exploratory activities, there is a sense in Athens that Erdogan’s statements may not be limited just to the realm of creating impressions alone or the internal political situation in Turkey.
An indication of this was Erdogan’s seemingly irritated response to a question by a journalist about the possibility of a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden. “Why? If he is Biden, I am Erdogan,” Erdogan said.
Mitsotakis also met with Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who also met with Erdogan earlier in the day. Mitsotakis reportedly briefed his Israeli counterpart “on the extreme aggressive rhetoric of the Turkish political leadership and its unacceptable claims that challenge Greek sovereignty,” underlining that they undermine stability and security in the East Med.