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NATO deletes Victory Day tweet following Greek protest

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The NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), headquartered in the western Turkish province of İzmir, has deleted a tweet congratulating Turkey on the occasion of its Victory Day following an angry reaction from Greece.

LANDCOM’s message angered Greece as Turks commemorate on Victory Day, marked every Aug. 30, their victory against Greek forces in a decisive battle in 1922 during the Turkish War of Independence. This year’s celebrations were special as it was the 100th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, which was fought under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

LANDCOM joined in the celebratory mood in the country, tweeting on Tuesday: “Today is the 100th anniversary of Turkish Independence. We join our Turkish allies across NATO and beyond in celebration of their Victory and Turkish Armed Forces Day.”

It is common for LANDCOM’s Twitter account to post congratulatory tweets on the national holidays of member countries.

LANDCOM’s tweet prompted Greece’s permanent representative to the security alliance to file a complaint condemning the “unacceptable” move, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, as they voiced their unease with the message.

The tweet had been deleted as of Wednesday evening.

Despite being NATO allies, neighboring Turkey and Greece have longstanding sea and air boundary disputes that lead to near-daily air force patrols and interception missions mostly around Greek islands near Turkey’s coastline.

Athens accuses Ankara of overflying Greek islands.

Turkey says Greece is stationing troops on islands in the Aegean Sea in violation of peace treaties signed after World Wars I and II.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cut off dialogue with Greece after claiming that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lobbied against US arms sales to his country.

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