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Greek Prime Minister demands answers over map that shows islands as Turkish

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By AP  with Euronews
A woman walks on the beach of Ierapetra on the southeast coast of the Greek island of Crete.
A woman walks on the beach of Ierapetra on the southeast coast of the Greek island of Crete.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Bastian Parschau, File

Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on Turkey to explain a controversial map that was shared on social media.

The image showed several major, inhabited Greek islands in the Aegean Sea that are claimed to belong to Turkey.

The map was reportedly gifted to Devlet Bahceli -- the leader of a nationalist party allied with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- by the young ultranationalist Grey Wolves group.

The head of the organisation had tweeted a photo of the map on Sunday, claiming the "glorious Turkish flag" was "usurped by Greece".

“Take a good look at this map. Crete, Rhodes, Lesvos, Chios, Samos all consumed by Turkey,” Mitsotakis tweeted on Monday.

“Α fever dream of extremists or Turkey’s official policy? Another provocation or the true goal? President Erdogan must make his position clear on his junior coalition partner’s latest antics."

Relations between Greece and Turkey have been tense for decades over a series of issues, including undersea exploration rights and the sovereignty of uninhabited islets.

Recent quarrels have focused on Greek islands off Turkey’s coast, where Ankara accuses Athens of maintaining a military presence in violation of treaties.

Greece has argued that it is acting according to international law and is defending its islands in the face of Turkish hostility.