Turkey’s ballistic missile tests terrify Athens, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. He added that a short-range ballistic missile produced by Turkey is capable of hitting the Greek capital.
– Now we started building our rockets. Of course, this production terrifies the Greeks. When you say “Typhoon” (Turkish-made short-range ballistic missile – ed.), the Greek is terrified. They say he will hit Athens. Of course it will strike,” Erdogan said, according to Turkey’s Anatolia news agency.
The Turkish president, visiting the northern province of Samsun on Sunday, told a meeting that if “you try to buy something from here and there, from America to the islands, then a country like Turkey will not be a passive observer. He has to do something.” Erdogan referred to the purchase of US arms by Greece.
Greece within range of Turkish missiles
The Anatolia Agency reminds that in October the Turkish army tested a short-range ballistic missile of the Typhoon type, manufactured in the country, over the Black Sea. The missile can hit a target 561 kilometers away in less than eight minutes.
The Greek news website “Ekathmerini” notes that a few days ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened Greece with an invasion if it did not demilitarize its islands in the Aegean Sea. Cavusoglu said Turkey would “suddenly arrive overnight,” recalling President Erdogan’s earlier threats.
Ekathmerini writes that Greek politicians usually dismiss these statements by the Turkish president as efforts to ingratiate themselves with the domestic public. But with next year’s elections, when Turkey’s difficult economic situation puts Erdogan’s re-election in doubt, they fear he may stage the incident as an act of desperation. In addition, Greece faces double elections next year, and authorities in Athens fear that Erdogan may plan the incident to coincide with a period of least stability in Greek politics.
Turkey and Greece have disagreed for years over maritime territories, rights to raw materials, airspace and the status of some islands in the Aegean Sea. Ankara accuses Athens of trying to deprive it of profits from the exploitation of oil and gas deposits under Greek territorial waters and Cypruswhere – according to Turkey – the borders should not include the Greek islands, but only the mainland.
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