Greece has rebuked Turkey after its Defense Minister Hulusi Akar claimed more or less that the sea area off South-East Crete belonged to Turkey’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Ever since 1996 Turkey has been claiming that also the island of Gavdos is part of what it calls “grey zones” in the Aegean Sea.
“The delimitation of the Greek Exclusive Economic Zone, in its totality, shall be determined on the basis of International Law and certainly not by taking into account non-existent and arbitrary theories adopted by Turkey, a violator of International Law, the Foreign Ministry in Athens said in a statement.
To Akar’s claim the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea should be “demilitarized,” Athens responded:
“Regarding issues of demilitarisation, the well-known positions of Greece stem exclusively from International Law and the UN Charter and leave no room for doubt.”
“Greece is not going to be drawn into an exchange in aggressive rhetoric,” the ministry said and urged Ankara:
“We call upon our neighbour Turkey to act with due seriousness and commitment to the principles of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.”
A war of words broke between Greece and Turkey, after the latter threatened it won’t accept a fait accompli in the Aegean or Mediterranean Sea” and claimed neither Greece nor Cyprus can drill without Ankara’s consent. Turkey is furious about drilling off Cyprus.
The icing on the top came after Greece announced to extend its territorial waters form 6 to 12 miles in the Ionian Sea and South Peloponnese.
The Turkish side falsely believes it has a saying in Greece’s politics.