Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s far-right governing ally, displayed a map showing Greek islands as Turkish at a party event at the weekend, Ahval reports.
Ahmet Yiğit Yıldırım, the president of the ultranationalist Grey Wolves Education and Culture Foundation, the youth organisation of MHP, presented the map to Bahçeli as a gift during his visit to the organisation’s headquarters on Saturday, the beginning of Muslim’s religious Eid al-Adha holiday.
“We presented our work called ‘Our National Oath (Misak-ı Milli) in seas’ to our leader,” Yıldırım said via social media on Sunday.
The map shows many of the Greek islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean, including Crete, as belonging to Turkey and draped in a Turkish flag.
The borders of modern Turkey were drawn after World War One, in the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. Erdoğan and the MHP have questioned the treaty’s validity, throwing Turkey’s commitment to its key aspects into doubt. The MHP is promoting the revival of the “borders” of the National Oath of February 1920 that lays claim to lands now belonging to Turkey’s southern and western neighbours.
The ultimate defence line of the Turkish homeland must begin with the limits defined by the map of ‘National Oath,’ Bahçeli said in June 2020.
Bahçeli’s displaying of the map is “aggressive” and “provocative,” Greek diplomatic sources told the Kathimerini newspaper on Sunday. This is “part of an escalation of the extreme Turkish rhetoric that we are witnessing on a daily basis,” the sources said, according to Kathimerini.
Athens is expecting immediate and public condemnation of this unacceptable action that questions Greece’s territorial integrity, they said.