Tensions in the Aegean continue, with one of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief advisers issuing a direct threat to Greece’s political representatives over the Imia islets.
The startling comments were broadcast on Turkish television and made by Yigit Bulut, directing Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, his ministers and other officials to not dare set foot on the islets.
If they fail to heed the warning, Bulut said that Athens would “feel the anger of Turkey, worse than that in Afrin” referencing the Kurdish-controlled enclave in Syria where Turkish troops have engaged.
“We will break the arms and legs of any officers, of the prime minister or of any minister who dares to step onto Imia in the Aegean,” Bulut said.
The controversial comments follow an incident near the Imia islets last week, when a Turkish patrol boat rammed a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat. There has also been a spike in Turkish air space violations in the Aegean of late.
Tensions over the Imia islets are long-standing between Greece and Turkey, who came close to war over the territory in 1996. Ankara continues to dispute the islets’ sovereignty.