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26 May, 2024
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Turkish opposition backs Erdogan over Greek island claims

In a symbolic move, the Prime Minister of Greece will visit the remote island of Pserimos with a population of only 20 people

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has expressed its agreement with the recent government escalation vis-à-vis Greece and indicated that it would support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he decided to go through with a threat to challenge the sovereignty of Greek islands in the eastern Aegean.

“If you have the heart for it, take the step on the occupied and armed islands. We will support you,” CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu was quoted by Turkish media as saying in response to one of a series of questions posed to him by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the Grand National Assembly on Wednesday.

“It is imperative that we increase the pressure in the Mediterranean and the Aegean,” he said.

“These things aren’t handled by sending out a ship, then pulling back and saying: ‘I wish Biden would call me’,” he added, in reference to US President Joe Biden.

A US State Department spokesperson put a brake on Turkish efforts to challenge the sovereignty of the Greek islands, saying that "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected. "The sovereignty of Greece in these islands is not in question" while highlighting that Greece and Turkey are both strong partners and key allies of the USA in NATO.

Today, the prime minister of Greece will be on the remote island of Kos, followed by a visit to Pserimos by boat, an island with about 20 inhabitants.

This PM's visit to an island with such a small population sends a strong symbolic message at a time when Ankara is increasingly provoking Greece by raising its aggressive rhetoric

In the afternoon, the prime minister will be in Astypalea, a year after the first meeting he had with the CEO of the VW group, Herbert Dees, to see up close the course of the island's transition to green energy.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Turkey

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