An ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened a second genocide and an invasion of Greece by saying “this time they may have to swim until Sicily.”
İsmet Büyükataman, the Secretary General of Far-Right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Bursa Deputy, made the provocative remark on his Twitter account yesterday.
“Our advice to the Greek state is that between 1919-22, the people who saw the massacres in the Turkish nation tied the collar of their grandchildren. Otherwise, we remind you that Ataturk is not exhausted in the great Turkish nation, this time they may have to swim until Sicily,” he said.
Turkey says that Greece’s efforts to liberate its homeland in Asia Minor beginning in 1919 and attempting to end the Greek Genocide that the Turks had been committing since 1913 was a ‘heroic anti-imperialist struggle.’
The end of the Greco-Turkish War culminated with Great Fire of Smyrna that began on September 13, 1922. The withdrawal of the Greek Army back to Greece saw the city of Asia Minor at the mercy of Turkish forces led by Mustafa Kemal.
What ensued with the entrance of Turkish forces was a Great Fire that they began and saw tens of thousands of Greeks and Armenians either burn to death or drown in the harbour of the city as they desperately attempted to board ships belonging to Allies of World War I.
However, even before the Turkish forces started the fire in the city, there are numerous accounts of foreigners being murdered by the Turks. Dutch merchant Oscar de Jongh and his wife were murdered by the Turkish cavalry while a retired British doctor was beaten to death in his home when he tried to prevent the rape of a servant girl.
The Turkish narrative is that Turkish forces made a brave attack and “kicked the Greek Army into the sea,” while historical truth shows that Greek Army had already left the city and rather the mass murder, rape and loot of the city was against civilians. This was one of the final acts of the Greek and Armenian genocide in Turkey.
By Büyükataman saying that the Greeks will “have to swim until Sicily,” the ally of Erdoğan implies that a second genocide of Greeks and the invasion of Greece so that Greeks will be ethnically cleansed from their homeland, just as his ancestors ethnically cleansed Greeks from their 3,000+ year old homeland in Smyrna and the rest of Asia Minor, could occur.
Although Erdoğan belongs to the Justice and Development Party, the MHP have 49 seats out of 600 in the Turkish Parliament and are strong allies of the Turkish president, often considered the radical wing of Erdoğan’s regime.