Greece is not to be taken seriously and is “the size of one of our cities” according to reported comments attributed to Turkey’s prime minister on Wednesday.
According to Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Binali Yildirim was quoted as saying: “Don’t take Greece into account. It’s a country the size of one of our cities. It is smaller than Istanbul.”
Yildirim apparently added that although the two countries are neighbors “as long as they stay quiet we have nothing to say”.
Yildirim’s words come two days after Maximos Mansion issued a strongly-worded statement in response to comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the two Greek soldiers held in Turkey and the eight Turkish army officers who sought asylum in Greece.
The Greek prime minister’s office said Athens respects the law “and has a prime minister who respects and acknowledges the procedures of Greek justice, not a Sultan who would be able to issue promises on [judicial] decisions”.
On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet flew over the Greek island of Farmakonisi as Greece and Turkey escalate their verbal offensive against each other.
The incident is seen as another provocation by Ankara at a time when harsh words are being exchanged between the two NATO allies.