Greek far-right leader vows to ‘take back’ İstanbul, İzmir
Nikos Mihaloliakos (Photo: EPA)
The leader of the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn, Nikos Mihaloliakos, has taken a stand before his partisans during an election meeting in Thessaloniki, staking out a claim to Turkey’s internationally recognized territories.
“We will take İstanbul, İzmir as well as the Black Sea back,” said Mihaloliakos during his speech in an address to his electorate.
Mihaloliakos had recently said in an interview that “queen city” İstanbul will be “liberated” one day.
The largest city in Turkey, İstanbul was founded around 660 B.C. as Byzantium on the Sarayburnu promontory, and served as one of the most significant cities in history under the name of Constantinople. The city was conquered by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. İstanbul forms Turkey’s economic, commercial, cultural and historical heart.
Commenting on criticism addressed to his party over its racist calls, Mihaloliakos said, “Yes, we are racist and nationalist and we are not hiding that.” He also harshly criticized Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, who wants to name one of the Greek streets after the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.