Ankara blasts Greek MEP for ripping Turkish flag at plenary
Turkey on Jan. 30 slammed Greek member of the European Parliament (EP) Ioannis Lagos for ripping a Turkish flag at the EP Plenary.
“These racist minds know better than anybody else how we broke the hands of and poured into the sea those who dare attack our glorious flag,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a tweet.
“Europe’s spoiled and racist children should know their place. Europe must put an end to racism and animosity against Islam,” Çavuşoğlu added.
Strong reactions against the Greek MEP mounted when the incident came to light. Many statesmen and officials have slammed Lagos’ move, dubbing it as “racist and disrespectful.”
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik also slammed Lagos, saying with the incident he “only showed his wishy-washy nature.”
“We do not find it right to disrespect our own flag or other nations’ flags. That racist Greek attacked every flag of every nation in the EP with his impudent act,” Çelik said.
“That fascist will see loads of our flags when it flies in eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry on Jan. 30 posted a video on social media in response to the tearing up of a Turkish flag
“We will continue to convey how noble and strong of our flag is to the desperate, spoiled children in the European Parliament who attack our flag with their dirty hands,” the ministry said in a tweet.
Lagos is one of the most prominent figures of the far-right racist Golden Dawn party.
He was found guilty last year of attacking a community center in Athens which was hosting asylum seekers.
Before becoming an MEP, Lagos served as a member of the Hellenic Parliament for the Golden Dawn, a far-right party known to have neo-Nazi affiliations.
Lagos previously had a ban to leave the country due to a trial with 68 other people for forming and leading a criminal organization.
Meanwhile, Greece’s Foreign Ministry also condemned Lagos over his actions.
“Greece condemns in the most categorical manner any act of insulting a national symbol and in this case the national symbol of Turkey. The unacceptable actions of the representatives of neo-Nazism are a departure from Greek and European traditions and are an attempt to attract attention to Golden Dawn, which is on trial, and which Greek society has pushed out of Parliament with its vote,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Neo-Nazis speak only for themselves,” it added.