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Greece hits back at Turkish claims in Aegean Sea

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Greece on Thursday published a series of historical maps looking to refute Turkish accusations that Athens is violating peace treaties that followed World War I and World War II, Agence France-Presse reported.

Turkish authorities say the Greeks have stationed troops on Aegean islands in violation of the peace treaties that followed the two 20th century conflicts.

Athens counters that the troops are stationed in response to the presence of Turkish military units, aircraft and landing craft on the opposite coast, in addition to Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

The Greek foreign ministry published maps going back to 1923 which it said depict “in a vivid and irrefutable way the Turkish illegal unilateral actions and claims.”

The maps “document the extent of Turkish revisionism in order to upend the status quo, violating international law … and threatening peace, security and stability in our region,” it said.

The two uneasy NATO neighbors have long feuded over maritime borders and energy exploration rights in disputed parts of the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.

Facing re-election next year amid rampant inflation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly attacked Greece over the islands and has said he would no longer meet with Greek leaders.

“Come to your senses,” Erdoğan said on Thursday in another shot at Greece.

“You should disarm the islands. I’m not joking,” he said.

On Tuesday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Ankara would challenge Greece’s sovereignty over the islands if it continued to send troops there.

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