Greek lawmaker tearing of Turkish flag faces severe backlash

Greek lawmaker Ioannis Lagos, deputy of the far-right Golden Dawn party, tore up the Turkish flag in the European Parliament on Thursday, prompting a huge backlash from both Athens and Ankara.

Lagos ripped apart a Turkish flag during a debate at the European Parliament over a large number of refugees on Greek islands when he blamed Turkey for the situation.

“Here we have the Turkish flag… What can you do with this flag? Well, you can tear it up, Lagos said during his incendiary remarks before the chamber.

Responding to the incident, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that it condemned Lagos’s actions, describing the act as a departure from Greek and European traditions that served as a neo-Nazi publicity stunt.

“The unacceptable actions of the neo-Nazis are well away from the Greek and European traditions and are an attempt to self-publicise the subversive Golden Dawn party, which the Greek society has put out of parliament,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Ankara also slammed the incident. Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu described Lagos as “Europe’s spoiled and racist children” without referring to Greek far-right deputy by name.

"These racist minds know better than anybody how we crash and kick out to the sea those who dare attack our glorious flag. Europe’s spoiled and racist children should know their place," Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter.

He also urged that Europe must put an end to racism and animosity against Islam.

"Expecting European Parliament to take necessary measures against this clown," Turkish foreign minister said.