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Greek prime minister calls on Erdoğan to clarify position over controversial map

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has slammed a controversial map that shows some Greek islands as Turkish territory and demanded an explanation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Take a good look at this map. Crete, Rhodes, Lesvos, Chios, Samos all consumed by Turkey. Α fever dream of extremists or Turkey’s official policy? Another provocation or the true goal? President Erdogan must make his position clear on his junior coalition partner’s latest antics,” he tweeted on Monday, posting a photo of the controversial map.

The map was gifted to Devlet Bahçeli, leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on Sunday by Ahmet Yiğit Yıldırım, head of the Idealist Hearths Education and Culture Foundation, a far-right organization affiliated with the MHP.

Yıldırım tweeted a photo of the map on Sunday, claiming the “glorious Turkish flag” was “usurped by Greece.”

The MHP is an election partner of President Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported that Greek diplomatic sources were also disturbed by the map, quoting them as describing it as “aggressive and provocative.”

“Unfortunately, it represents part of the escalation of the extreme rhetoric from Turkey that we witness on a daily basis,” the sources said.

“We expect the immediate, categorical, and public rejection of this unacceptable act, which doubts the sovereignty of our country,” the Greek sources told Kathimerini.

Relations between Greece and Turkey have been tense for decades over a series of issues, including undersea exploration rights in disputed parts of the Aegean, which separates the two countries, and in the eastern Mediterranean as well as the sovereignty of uninhabited islets.

Recent quarrels have focused on Greek islands off Turkey’s coast, where Ankara accuses Athens of maintaining a military presence in violation of treaties.

Greece has argued that it is acting according to international law and is defending its islands in the face of Turkish hostility.

Turkey, for its part, says Greece is stationing troops on islands in the Aegean in violation of peace treaties signed after the first and second world wars.

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