Conflict Trends Update


President Erdoğan accused Athens of militarising what should be demilitarised Eastern Aegean islands, threatened to “do what was necessary”, and warned of a “heavy price” should Greece harass Turkish F-16 fighter jets. The latter warning follows Ankara’s accusation that Greece in August used the Russian-supplied S300 air defence system to lock on to Turkish jets in the region. Ankara appealed to the U.S. over the incident. Crisis Group expert Nigar Göksel says the war of words between both sides has been escalating for several months. Aside from the dispute over the sovereignty and alleged militarisation of islands close to Türkiye, irregular migration flows and Ankara’s energy exploration activities around Cyprus have recently fueled the harsh rhetoric. Tensions could further increase ahead of scheduled general elections in both countries in 2023.

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