Greece bristles at Turk claims

Relations between Greece and Turkey appeared to enter a prickly phase yesterday as Athens lodged an official complaint with Ankara over a posting on the Turkish joint chiefs of staff website that claimed there is an illegal Greek military presence on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes. The posting, which appeared on the anniversary of the conquest of the island by the Ottomans in 1522, also alleged that Greece was neglecting Ottoman monuments on the island. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due to visit Ankara next month and the posting prompted an immediate protest by the Greek Embassy to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan also criticized Greece yesterday for having an «incorrect and unpleasant» approach to its dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the latter’s name.