Rishi Sunak was called a “b-----d” and described as an Ottoman “janissary” in thrall to Turkey’s president in Greek newspapers, as they reacted to the growing row over the Elgin Marbles.
The inflammatory headlines began appearing on Wednesday after the Prime Minister cancelled a meeting in London with his Greek counterpart, who had reiterated his country’s aim to get the sculptures back.
“F--- you b-----d,” written in English, was the main headline of the Greek daily Eleftheri Ora.
A subheading added: “This is the only answer to the insult of the rat-faced English Prime Minister and Goldman Sachs mouthpiece.”
The headline of a separate story on Wednesday told readers that “barbarians and traitors are in cahoots with [Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip] Erdogan”.
Another urged “crypto-Orthodox King Charles, who wears a Greek-flag-themed tie” to “intervene and wash away the shame”.
Importantly, the King was “nothing like the rascal Elgin”, the newspaper thundered as it attacked the diplomat accused of stealing the sculptures from the Parthenon in the early 19th century.
Eleftheri Ora first began publishing in 1981 as a far-Right newspaper sympathetic to Greece’s military dictatorship, which collapsed in 1974. Grigoris Michalopoulos, the newspaper’s late founder, was imprisoned in 2005 for extortion and forgery.
The paper is not seen as a serious news outlet and is known for spreading conspiracy theories – often tinged with aggressive anti-Semitism – ranging from the Illuminati to the reptilian humanoids conspiracy popularised by David Icke.
Its circulation amounts to a little over a thousand copies daily.
But it was not the only newspaper to take aim at Mr Sunak after his row with the Greek prime minister.
Political, another Greek newspaper, argued that geopolitical games were being played under the cover of the row over the marbles, labelling Mr Sunak as “Erdogan’s Janissary” in a reference to the elite foot soldiers of the Ottoman empire.
Nato members Greece and Turkey have been at odds for decades over a range of issues including where their continental shelves start and end, energy resources, overflights of the Aegean Sea, and ethnically split Cyprus.