The Turkish folk, famous for their seafarer skills since their Mongolian past, wants to expand their territories and grab islands. In the West. Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. And half the Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, they illegally occupies since 1974.
Haven’t Turkish politicians often claimed in the 1990’s that they felt “squeezed in the wild terrains and the highlands of Anatolia” and they “needed space to be able to swim more than 3 nautical miles” as they were provided by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923?
Yes, they did. Specifically it was a Defense Minister whose name I can’t recall right now.
Much too many islands have obviously confused the horse-riders by tradition who cannot differentiate one island from the other and one Treaty from the next one.
In its recent allegations Ankara and its affiliate press have so far claimed 130 Greek islands, then 22, then 14 and finally 9.
Government affiliated media like Yeni Safak claimed on Sunday that “Turkey has sovereignty over 9 islands and Greece was granted only the right of use. Among these islands are: Limnos, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Ikaria and Rhodes.
Today, Ankara added the occupied Cyprus. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Monday Turkey’s support for a two-state solution to the division of Cyprus:
“Two states existing side by side can cooperate between them in every possible way. If the Greek Cypriot side is sincere about wanting to treat Turkish Cypriots as equals, then it will recognize their political sovereignty and we will cooperate.”
Who knows what will Turkey claim tomorrow?
Ankara keeps renouncing false rights on real Greeks islands and thus based on short-sighted Turkish politicians who read Treaties with their long-sighted eyeglasses.
In their unfounded claims, they threaten Greece that they will challenge the sovereignty of several islands, whether 130 or 9, if Athens does not demilitarized them.
However, to quote Professor of Constitutional Law at Thessaloniki University and lawyer Kostas Chrysogonos:
- “Turkish claims are mainsfestly unfounded. Art. 13 of Lausanne Treaty explicitily permits Greek military forces in the Aegean islands. Only naval bases and fortifications are forbidden, which do not exist. On the contrary, Turkey violates Art. 14 concerning Imvros.”
- “Turkey renounced all its rights on the Dodecanese in favour of Italy through Art. 15 of the Lausane Treaty. It is not a signatory state of the Treaty of Paris of 1947, which ceded them to Greece. Therefore no rights arise for Turkey from the latte.”
Greece reacts rather cool on the constant Turkish provocations and chose to not fall into a game of verbal confrontation and tit for tat.
Maybe one day, Erdogan will also realize his claims lead to nowhere and shout “Malta yok!“
Fact is that Erdogan’s threats certainly put a break into any Greek plans to extend the territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean Sea. Not that Athens was planning to proceed with such a move there, anyway.
So, what Erdogan wants? Survive the election next year stirring his folk nationalism? Blackmail the USA to get his fighter jets upgraded? Backets full of Aegean Sea to explore for hydrocarbon that is too expensive to exploit? Money? Kebab?
Fact is also that the Turkish foreign policy towards Greece will change, if and when Erdogan goes…
*During the 17th century the Ottoman Empire was fighting off the rise of Christian Europe and coming off quite badly. So the Sultan Ibrahim the Mad ordered his fleet to attack the Christian island of Malta. The then admiral of the fleet knowing it would be a disaster moved a candle over the map on his navigation table and allowed the wax to run off obscuring Malta. On returning to the room he looked at the map and said “Malta where is Malta? Malta doesn’t exist!” and sailed away to Tunisia. ( a well-known story, posted also on quora.under “unabashed denials and lies.”)