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Turkey demands demilitarization of 16 Greek islands

Turkey’s challenges towards Greece have no end with Ankara adding a new claim and a point of dispute each and every day. This time the demilitarization of Greek islands was put on the agenda. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar demanded that 16 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea should be demilitarized.

“Greece, arming 16 out of 23 islands with non-military status, in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea, should act in accordance with international law,” Akar, according to state-run news agency Anadolu.

“We expect Greece to act according to international law, agreements and good neighborly relations,” he added during his visit to missile producer Rokersan.

According to the Turkish defense minister, there is a status of demilitarization of 23 islands in the Aegean, as defined by international agreements. 

“16 islands are armed in violation of these agreements and Greece should respect the agreements and restore legality, Akar added without elaborating further on the names of the islands, though.

“As we always say in our contacts with our interlocutors, we will by no means allow our rights to be violated, but we cannot say that we are in a good neighborhood when, for example, a country in the world has 6 miles of territorial waters and 10 miles of airspace,”he said. “This is what the Greeks are doing, there is no such thing, it is illegal and paradoxical,” he added.

Hulusi Akar went so far to claim that  “Turkey’s activities are ongoing in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, off Cyprus, are carried out in accordance with international law and the territorial integrity of the countries.”

At the same time, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the European Union to “protect the rights of Turkish-Cypriots.”

“The European Union should fairly and objectively intervene in the ongoing dispute between Turkey and Cyprus over the delimitation of exclusive economic zones in the Mediterranean, rather than merely taking decisions aimed at Ankara,” Cavusoglu said.

He accused the EU of “two measures and hypocrisy” when it comes to manage this situation. “The EU is obliged to defend the rights of Turkish-Cypriots,” Cavusoglu claimed.

PS With the list of Turkish claims to grow each and every day, the so-called Confidence Building Measures between the two neighboring countries and NATO partners or the appeal to the international court of The Hague will never be possible.

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One comment

  1. Christos P. Tsonis

    It is high time for the European Union to care for all its members and give a stern warning to Turkey to stay away from the Greek Mediterranean Sea and find a solution for the asylum seekers that flood the Greek Islands daily.