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Turkey threatens Greece to dispute “the sovereignty of militarized islands”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Greece to demilitarize the islands and warned that it will start a debate questioning their sovereignty, if Athens does not change its stance.

“We sent two letters to the UN. We sent them because Greece is violating the demilitarization regime of the islands. These islands were ceded to Greece by the Treaties of Lausanne* of 1923 and of Paris** of 1947 on the condition of their demilitarization. But Greece has been violating this regime since the 1960s,” he told the state broadcaster TRT.

“In the letter we wrote we mentioned that Greece violates the terms of the treaties, these islands were given under conditions, and if Greece does not change its position, then the sovereignty of these islands is debatable,” he threaten without elaborating with who the debate would start.

Cavusoglu added “Greece does not dispute that it is militarizing them. But it claims that there is a threat from Turkey. Is this in the Treaties? No! So what will you do to stop this threat with a few weapons and some soldiers you place on the islands? This is not realistic either. As they do in every issue, they do not tell the truth.”

On the Turkish continental shelf, the FM claimed that turkey has unilaterally defines its western borders and will not syep back.recede.

It is noted that according to the Turkish claims, the borders of the continental shelf reach as far as the Greek islands of Crete and Karpathos.

Prompt was Greece’s reaction with the Foreign Ministry to reject the claims saying that they “go beyond simple logic.”

“We reject entirely the latest accusations by Turkish officials about the status of the Aegean islands,” the ministry’s spokesman said.

“These accusations not only do not comply with basic principles of international law, but they also go beyond simple logic. The Greek position on this issue has been expressed repeatedly and publicly.”

The spokesman added that Athens has sent a letter on this issue by Greece’s Permanent Representative to the UN to the Secretary General.

Greece also rejected Ankara’s unilateral objections to the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean. The spokesman noted that these objections ignore “the fundamental rules of International Law, and in particular International Law of the Sea.”

*Treaty of Lausanne signed by Turkey, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania.

**Treaty of Paris signed by Allies of WWII and Italy that ceded to Greece the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea.

It should be recalled that over a period of time, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was insisting in reviewing the Treaty of Lausanne and dispute Greek sovereignty. He has apparently not given up this goal, even if we heard nothing in this direction in the last 2 years.

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One comment

  1. It can “debate questioning their sovereignty” until they are blue in the face, Athens will never change its stance.

    Instead, it should withdraw its illegally occupying forces from Cyprus after its illegal invasion that would have reduced the need to militarize these islands to begin with.

    Greece also has the legal right to extend its maritime border to meet the internationally recognized 12 mile limit.

    At some point these issues must be resolved in accordance to law, not crazy and dangerous hyperbole .