Greece Voices Outrage After Turkish President Threatens Missile Strike On Athens

(Photo by ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

James Lynch Contributor
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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias voiced outrage against Turkish President Erdogan on Monday after the latter threatened Athens with a potential missile strike.

“It is unacceptable and universally condemnable for threats of a missile attack against Greece to be made by an allied country, a NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] member,” Dendias said Monday, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“North Korean-style attitudes cannot and must not be allowed to enter into the North Atlantic Alliance,” he added, referring to Turkey’s membership in NATO.

Erdogan warned Greece in a Saturday speech that Turkey has “started to make our own missiles,” according to Politico. “Of course, this production scares the Greeks. When you say ‘Tayfun,’ the Greek gets scared and say, ‘It will hit Athens.’ Well, of course it will.”

“If you don’t stay calm, if you try to buy things from the United States and other places (to arm) the islands, a country like Turkey … has to do something,” the president continued, according to AP.

The short-range ballistic “Tayfun” missile is Turkish for “typhoon,” and hit a target about 560 kilometers away when it was test-fired in October, a range more than double the missiles currently stocked in Turkey’s arsenal, Politico reported. (Kosovo Calls For NATO Intervention As Violent Protests Stoke Decades Of Hostilities)

Turkey and Greece have strained relations with each other as a result of territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea and exploration disputes in the eastern Mediterranean, according to AP. The past half-century has seen the countries come to the brink of war three times, the outlet continued.

Turkish officials have accused Athens of violating international treaties by deploying troops and weapons on Aegean Sea islands, which are required to be non-militarized, AP reported.

Greece has accused Turkey of committing “unprecedented” airspace violations of the Aegean Islands with its fighter jets in April.