A Greek newspaper headline ignites a new row between Turkey and Greece

The Turkish government has denounced a headline published by a Greek newspaper and considered it insulting to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and urged Athens to take action against it.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry had summoned the Greek ambassador in Ankara, against the backdrop of the title of the Greek newspaper, which was also published on its website.

The newspaper wrote in Turkish, “Siktir Git Mr. Erdogan” meaning “get out Mr. Erdogan”, next to of the Turkish president, and added an English translation next to it.

“On behalf of the Turkish government, that condemn with strong and harsh terms the newspaper that insulted the Turkish president on the front page of the newspaper affiliated with the far-right,” said Fakhruddin Altun, the Turkish presidential communication official.

For its part, the Greek Foreign Ministry responded, on Friday, by saying that freedom of opinion and the press are fully protected in Greece, adding that “the use of offensive language contravenes our country’s political culture, and it must be condemned”.

The level of tension is currently high between Turkey and Greece, due to Ankara’s gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean region, which both Greece and Cyprus consider a violation of their sovereignty.

A dispute is raging between Greece and Turkey, two members of NATO, over fuel fields in the eastern Mediterranean, in an area Greece asserts that it is under its sovereignty.

Tensions escalated between the two countries when, on August 10, Turkey sent a seismic survey ship accompanied by warships to a sea area claimed by Greece, prompting Athens to organize naval exercises, with support from France in particular.

Macron and the leaders of the six southern European countries called on Turkey to stop the policy of “confrontation” in the eastern Mediterranean, and threatened Ankara with imposing European sanctions if it continued to deny Cyprus and Greece’s gas rights in the eastern Mediterranean.