Erdogan Doubts Lausanne Treaty Again; Feels Nostalgic for Ottoman Empire

 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again referred to the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 stating that his country has been “trapped” in this document that defines borders between Greece and Turkey. He made these comments while a dogfight took place in the Aegean as two Turkish F16 planes entered Greek air space. Erdogan had said that the Turkish borders had shrunk drastically since the signing of the treaty and stated that the country was in a “vicious circle.”

“The Ottomans had a state with such deep roots that its collapse caused material and moral wounds to our nation,” he said, adding that the Lausanne Treaty has been brought to the attention of Turkey’s National Council. “Our territories were 2.5 million square kilometers in 1914 and were reduced to 780,000 square kilometers with the signing of the Lausanne Treaty.” Erdogan stated his doubt in the way history has been interpreted. “I want youth to examine Lausanne and let some of them be annoyed. These mistakes need to be known.”

He prompted youth to inquire into the signing of the treaty. “I want youth to be like beekeepers,” he said, while also reminiscing the power of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire that the founders of Modern Turkey signed away.

This comment is the latest in a series of comments showing dissatisfaction with Turkey’s borders and indicating Ankara’s expansionist policies. Erdogan’s rhetoric since the failed coup attempt against him has increased tension between the two countries.

In the wake of a misinterpretation of comments made by Erdogan suggesting he had called for a referendum in Western Thrace in Greece, tension has increased and the head of the Greek Embassy’s press office had reportedly been ordered to return to Greece on Wednesday.