Erdogan to Greece: ‘You Nearly Became Salted Fish, But You Jumped into the Sea’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ratcheted up the tension against Greece with a speech in Sangarios (Sakarya), near a river where the Greeks lost a key battle in 1921 during the Greco-Turkish war.

Erdogan was quoted as saying that: “Those who want to refresh their memory, they should look at their recent history.

“Before they say things that are bigger than them, they should look at their history books. Let them learn that they were saved from becoming salted fish and how they left here by jumping into the sea.”

This was a reply to an earlier statement by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who said Turkey should not challenge the sovereignty of Greek islands in the Dodecanese.

Pavlopoulos was on Nisyros on Saturday celebrating the 70th anniversary of the incorporation of the Dodecanese into Greece.

“Throughout my term, not only I will do my utmost to defend both the long history and the undeniable Greekness of Nisyros and all the Dodecanese, along with the borders, the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of our country and the European Union in general,” Pavlopoulos stressed, after his proclamation as an honorary citizen of Nisyros.

Referring to Turkey, Pavlopoulos pointed out that “Greece wants friendship and good neighborliness with Turkey, so it supports its European accession course, but respect for the borders and for international law as a whole and the Lausanne and Paris treaties, as well as the International law of the Sea.

“This is the basis upon which we can build our friendship with Turkey.”