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“The islands! The islands! Give me the islands! And half Cyprus!”

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.”)

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  1. Just love the headline!
    But, what that little “man” wants is not what he will get. These islands are Greek territory, hands off! Will that megalomaniac realise that? Sadly enough not, I think. He will continue to “claim and shout” about “rights” that dont exist. I hope the turkish people will see facts and remove him from power in the election coming up! That is the only way to save their economy and get back to real democracy!

  2. First, I qualify my comment in that I have no information whatsoever as to what Greece is or is not doing by way of militarizing islands. Secondly, a warning: if Turkey makes 10 claims of which 9 are false, that means 1 is correct. If Greece throws out “all Turkish claims as lies”, Turkey can blame Greece for calling true facts lies. Having said that:

    TREATY OF LAUSANNE, JULY 24, 1923: “With a view to ensuring the maintenance of peace, the Greek Government undertakes to observe the following restrictions in the islands of Mytilene, Chios, Samos and Nikaria: (I) No naval base and no fortification will be established in the said islands. (2) Greek military aircraft will be forbidden to fly over the territory of the Anatolian coast. Reciprocally, the Turkish Government will forbid their military aircraft to fly over the said islands. (3) The Greek military forces in the said islands will be limited to the normal contingent called up for military service, which can be trained on the spot, as well as to a force of gendarmerie and police in proportion to the force of gendarmerie and police existing in the whole of the Greek territory.”

    TREATY OF PARIS, FEBRUARY 10, 1947: “Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese Islands indicated hereafter, namely Stampalia (Astropalia), Rhodes (Rhodos), Calki (Kharki), Scarpanto, Casos (Casso), Piscopis (Tilos), Misiros (Nisyros), Calimnos (Kalymnos), Leros, Patmos, Lipsos (Lipso), .imi (Sym), Cos (Kos) and Castellorizo, as well as the adjacent islets. These islands shall be and shall remain demilitarised.”

    In the Lausanne Treaty, Greece’s commitment is to Turkey. In the Paris Treaty, Greece’s commitment is to Italy (Turkey was not party to this treaty). Still, both are commitments of Greece.

    • Very intresting to read but:
      1. Turkish airplanes fly constantly over these islands. Greek airforce does not fly over the Anatolian costline.
      2. Most importantly: no where in these texts it is said that Turkey has anything at all to do with mentioned islands! So, what are Erdogan complaining about???
      Once more: These islands are Greek territory, hands off!!

  3. What does Erdogan want?
    He wants ” Lebensraum” and wants to restore the Ottoman Empire and with him being its sultan.
    Whenever he goes to Bosnia, Kosovo or the Muslim area in Serbia, he says that these are ” Turkish lands” and that Turkey will do everything to defend that. His side kick foreign minister once said that the Ottoman Empire was the best thing that ever happened to the Balkans and that that situation should be restored. Needless to say that most Balkan countries strongly disagree with that.

    Erdogan needs a ‘ big patriotic struggle’ because his economy is falling apart.

    • The Ottoman Empire took the Balkans and Byzantine Empire back one thousand years. The progress the Greeks had made and were making — the Ottoman destroyed . They did not copy something better like the Romans did. Were the Romans stupid to copy everything Greek and add more to civilization, ie great engineering and architecture, roads, aqueduct etc. The Turks destroyed and kept on destroying. It is the worst thing that happened to the Balkan countries not the best. What did the Turks contribute to civilization in those 400 years of enslavement of peoples. Genocide yes, stealing children to make them Turks yes, terrorizing peoples to convert them to Islam yes. If there was no conversion the wars between Christian and Moslems in Eastern Europe in the 90s might not have happened. The Greeks have been here since the Stone Age= the land they occupy has been Greek for millenniums including present day Turkey. So hands off … the Islands are Greek and have been Greeks for thousands of years. Greek spilled much blood to get some off their country back– so Erdogan can take his Ottoman Turks and go where ever they came from . They are not from Turkey – Turkey was Anatolia Greek so enough with the threats . Better get busy and take care of his people instead of trying to become a Sultan . and recreate the Ottoman empire. tat MY DEAR FRIENDS WOULD BE THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT.