Greece complains to NATO and UN over Erdoğan's remarks

Greece has penned letters to NATO and the United Nations, asking them to condemn Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent remarks concerning the Aegean islands.

This file photo shows Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.


Greece has sent letters to NATO and the United Nations, complaining over what it called "inflammatory" statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and asking them to condemn Ankara's behaviour, diplomatic sources said on Sept. 7. 

The two countries - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies but historic foes - have been at odds for decades over a range of issues including where their continental shelves start and end, overflights in the Aegean Sea, and divided Cyprus.

On Sept. 5, the European Union voiced concern over statements by Erdoğan accusing Greece, an EU member, of occupying demilitarised islands in the Aegean and saying Turkey was ready to "do what is necessary" when the time came.

According to Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency, Ankara sent letters this week to the European Union, NATO and the United Nations explaining its stance and views on issues including overlapping claims on airspace, territorial waters and the demilitarisation status of the Aegean islands, among other issues.

Greek diplomatic sources said on Sept. 7 Turkey's letter distorted reality and its arguments were unfounded and violate international law. Greece, they said, has also sent letters to the United Nations and NATO.

"The Turkish attitude is a destabilising factor for NATO's unity and cohesion, weaking the southern flank of the Alliance at a moment of crisis," Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias said in a letter to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.