Erdogan Ratchets Up Rhetoric Against Greece; Hagia Sophia Decision on July 2

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned Greece to stop issuing empty threats over his country’s planned oil and gas drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean, which Athens says violates Greek sovereignty.

In an interview with Turkey’s TRT channel, and sitting in front of map showing drilling areas that are within Greece’s continental shelf, Erdogan advised Greece to learn its limits. “If you don’t know your limits, then what Turkey would do is obvious.”

“Greece does not remain calm, and throws empty threats at us. It comes out and says baseless things. Who is this country talking like that? Who do they think they are talking to?” the Turkish President asked.

“You (Greece) had better collect yourself, and know your place. If you don’t know your limits, then what Turkey would do is obvious.”

In the same interview, the Turkish leader said that changing the status of Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox cathedral which is a now a museum and World Heritage Site, was up to Turkey and Greece had no say in the matter.

The high court of Turkey’s Council of State, will decide on July 2 whether or not the site can be turned into a mosque, Erdogan said.

“Regarding Hagia Sophia, they (Greece) say do not turn the site into a mosque. Do you govern Turkey? If such a step is to be taken, relevant authorities of the decision are obvious. The Council of State takes a decision, and necessary steps will be taken accordingly,” he stressed.