Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu declared that if he wins the country’s election when Turks go the polls next year he will wage war against Greece to take over the islands after declaring Athens has “no document” to ownership over them.
He stated he would “invade and take over 18 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, just as former Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit invaded Cyprus in 1974”.
Meanwhile, the inflammatory comments were supported by the head of the newly formed “Good Party”, Meral Akşener, who will also make a bid to run Turkey and hinted that they could wage war against Greece.
She remarked that “what is required must be done” in a post on Twitter.
The statements come at a time when president Erdoğan finds himself emboldened after conducting a military operation in the northern region of neighbouring Syria, Afrin.
The leader recently warned Bashar al-Assad that he risked war with Ankara if he decided to intervene in the ongoing conflict in the northern area.
In a recent speech, he continued his aggressive rhetoric and hinted he too could confront Greece after issuing a warning to “those who have crossed the line in the Aegean and Cyprus.”
He continued: “Their courage persists only until they see our army, our ships and our planes…Whatever Afrin is to us, our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus are the same.
“Do not ever think that the natural gas exploration in the waters of Cyprus and the opportunistic attempts in the Aegean Sea drop off our radar.
“Just as we disrupt the plots [in the region] through Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch [on Syria], and soon in Manbij and other regions, we can and we will disrupt the plots of those who engage in miscalculations on our southern border.
“Our warships and air forces are keeping an eye on the area closely to intervene in every way when required.”
Mr Erdoğan was keen to relive the glory days of the Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, and hinted that he could take back some of the lands that were lost when it collapsed in the early twentieth century.
At the height of its power, the Ottoman Empire controlled the majority of southeastern Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa.
The empire became a vital mediator between the eastern and western worlds for six centuries.
As part of its rule, the Ottoman Empire represented the Islamic Caliphate that launched wars of in the name of jihad.
Source : EXPRESS