Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apparently suffered a megalomania attack, fell in delirium and claimed to expand Turkey’s borders to Greece’s Thrace, Thessaloniki, Aegean islands and the whole of Cyprus. But he claimed as well a bit from Bulgaria, Georgia, Syria and a large portion of Iraq. The mad man in Ankara, in fact, challenged the Lausanne Treaty for one more time in an effort to revive the borders of the old Ottoman Empire that expired a century ago.
Quote: Erdogan, the Magificent
“We will have to deny our identity if we consider that what is happening from Gaza to Siberia where we speak the same language and share the same culture, does not concern us.”
Speaking at the University of Rize, Erdogan was in a visible bad mood against Turkey’s neighbors in all directions from North to South and from East to the West and decided to challenge them clearly pointing at unprecedented expansionist aspirations. It is the second time since end of September that the Turkish President officially doubts on the Treaty of Lausanne that marked Turkey’s boundaries.
Among others, Erdogan called for a referendum in Western Thrace, the north-east part of Greece with a strong Muslim population.
He cited “some historians” – Turkish, of course – who “believe that the borders of the National Oath* also include Cyprus, Aleppo [Syria], Mosul, Arbil and, Kirkuk [Iraq], in Batum [Georgia], Kardzhali, Varna [Bulgaria], Thessaloniki and the Aegean islands.”
“Turkey is not only Turkey. Not only for 79 million citizens, but Turkey bears also responsibility towards our hundreds of millions of brothers in the geographical area to whom we are connected through our historical and cultural ties,” Erdogan said and in this context he spoke of a referendum in Western Thrace.
“It is a duty, but also a right of Turkey to be interested in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Crimea, Karabakh, Bosnia, Crimaia and other sister areas. Turkey is not only Turkey. The moment you give up this, it will be the time when we lose our independence and our future,” the self-proclaimed ruler of the Middle East, South Caucasus and South-East Europe roared.
Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement describing Erdogan’s agitation as “dangerous” as it undermines the regional stability.
“The public agitation of historical and especially of border issues as they have been definite and irreversible in the Lausanne Treaty and form objective facts binding for all, is challenging and undermining the regional stability.
Respect for international law and international treaties requires the formulation of responsible positions away from outdated revisionism.
Thrace is Greek, democratic and European. Any other thought is unthinkable and dangerous.”
Turkey: *National Oath or Misak-ı Millî (English: National Pact, National Oath) is the set of six important decisions made by the last term of the Ottoman Parliament in 1920 and was adapted also by the first Turkish Parliament of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk six months later. Decisions taken by this parliament were used as the basis for the new Turkish Republic’s claims in the Treaty of Lausanne. The decisions refer among others to the future of “Western Thrace [ to be determined though Referendum], Batum, Ardahan, Kars, and of Muslim minorities in the area.
UPDATE: Several hours later, Athens News Agency withdrew the original report and published a correction saying that Erdogan did not mention a “referendum in Thrace.” ANA said it was a mistake by its correspondent in Turkey. More here.
PS Erdogan mentioned also Morocco and Northern Africa – But I think he will claim them in another speech.