Erdogan believes in the age old Islamic concept that land, once conquered by Islam, remains Â Islamic land and must be reconquered, at the next opportunity.
Erdogan continues with provocations in terms of breathing new life into the old but never forgotten plan to revive the “Turkish Republic of Thrace”, which includes portions of Greece, of southern Bulgaria and of the Central Balkans….”
Skopje.Â Greece rose to its feet as it reacted to comments made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Turkish territory included the Greek part of Thrace, parts of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina, MacedonianÂ Utrinski VesnikÂ announced.
“Thrace is Thessaloniki but at the same time it is Komotini and Xanthi,” Mr Erdogan said during a speech delivered as part of the campaign for next year’s local elections.
“It is also Kardzhali [in Bulgaria] and the Vardar River. Going further back, it is Skopje, Pristina and Sarajevo.”
Greece considered this statement anything else, but an expression of friendly attitude of a neighbouring country that Greece made attempts to overcome problems and establish partnership with.
“The Turkish PM tries to expand the Turkish conquests and claims concerning the Balkans,”Â Tanea.grinformed, whileÂ Imerisia.grÂ wrote:
“Erdogan is incredible – Thessaloniki also belongs to Thrace”.
“In this way Erdogan continues with provocations in terms of breathing new life into the old but never forgotten plan to revive the “Turkish Republic of Thrace”, which includes portions of Greece, of southern Bulgaria and of the Central Balkans,” Tanea.gr also wrote.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson also today commented on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words concerning territories which he stated belonged to Turkey.
The spokesperson stated that Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, proceeding from the assumption that Bulgarian-Turkish relations had been traditionally good and that a sitting of the Commission on Unresolved Issues was forthcoming, believed that such statements did not aid the development of bilateral dialogue aiming at efficient and pragmatic solutions [to issues].
The Foreign Ministry also stated that such interpretations connected with the Balkans past had to be handled carefully, having in mind the peculiarities in the history of the Balkan countries and the sensitivity they might invoke.
Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov, Director of Bulgaria’s National Historical Museum, stated that such statements as the one on the part of Mr Erdogan should not be made, especially as Bulgaria and Greece, two of Turkey’s neighbouring countries, were EU member states.
As it is well known, Turkey is a candidate for EU membership and relies on Bulgarian and Greek support so that it could join the EU.