Greece accuses Turkey of "undermining stability & security in the eastern Mediterranean"

Turkey has been accused by Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias of undermining stability and security in the eastern Mediterranean and causing problems with all of its neighbours, and of violating Greek airspace and territorial waters on a daily basis.

Dendias slammed Turkey’s actions in recent months in the Aegean Sea, which separates the two countries, saying Ankara must “abstain from its illegal gunboat diplomacy.” Dendias spoke during a visit to Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, accompanied by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

NATO allies and neighbours Greece and Turkey have long had difficult relations, and the two countries have come to the brink of war three times since the 1970s. Divided over a series of issues, including territorial disputes in the Aegean, relations have become increasingly strained in recent months.

Earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the borders with Europe were open to migrants living in Turkey who wanted to head into the EU. Although Turkey also shares a border with EU member Bulgaria, it was only on the Greek land border crossing that tens of thousands of migrants gathered, demanding to be allowed to cross.

Dendias described the action as “the exploitation, on the part of Turkey, of the hopes of tens of thousands of civilians for a better life ... misled through a disinformation campaign orchestrated by Turkish officials at the highest level.”

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