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Aegean waters heat up as Turkey, Greece exchange barbs over islands

With rhetoric and naval drills heating up in the Aegean Sea, even NATO is calling on the two allies to deescalate recent tensions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C-L) and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visit the Greek Naval frigate Salamis.

IZMIR, Turkey — With rival tweets in each other's language, military maneuvers that exclude each other and confrontations at NATO gatherings, ties between Turkey and Greece continue to heat up over the Aegean Sea.

Speaking to his party’s lawmakers June 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Greece that “it would get hurt” if it continued to be “a bit player” in the attacks against Turkey. “We are aware of the historical game in which certain circles … spoil, encourage and set out Greece against Turkey,” he said. “ The problem is that Greece is [either] not aware of this scenario or is too happy to be a bit player in it. But it should remember that these bit players are the ones who get hurt the most and reap little benefit and recognition. This is what befell Greece in the past and will befall Greece in the future if it insists on making the same mistake.”

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