Kammenos: We will crush whoever questions our national sovereignty

Kammenos: We will crush whoever questions our national sovereignty

Speaking on the anniversary of Greece's independence from Ottoman rule in 1821, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos hit out at Ankara after the latest rant by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We will crush whoever dares to question our national sovereignty," he said.

"Whoever has in mind large Ottoman empires should remember 1821. How the Greek people faced the Ottoman empire and crushed it," he said.

"Our armed forces are ready to face any challenge to [the country's] territorial integrity," he said.

As for the continued detention of two Greek soldiers by Turkish authorities, Kammenos remarked, "such behavior takes them back to where they started, in deepest Anatolia."

Earlier in the day, Erdogan spoke about his plans to create a "great Turkey" following the intervention of Turkish troops in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria. 

"We will definitely build the great Turkey," he said. "If necessary we will give our lives. If necessary we will take lives."

"We will not forget the wounds in our hearts caused by the artificial borders that they carved out," he said. "After Afrin comes the resurrection." 

"Those who believed that our observations are bluffs or empty rhetoric will see that their mistake is fatal," Erdogan said, adding that his statements reflect the "decisiveness of Turkey, of the policies of the state and the feelings of the people." "We will succeed or we will be killed." 

Erdogan's comments were the latest in a string of aggressive rhetoric. 

On Monday, he is supposed to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk in Varna, Bulgaria, for talks on EU-Turkey relations, the migration pact signed between Ankara and Brussels in March 2016 and other issues. 

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