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Turkey’s deep state claims “3/4 of Crete is …illegally occupied by Greece”

A new provocative narrative from the side of Turkey that is not very new, after all: Ankara’s nationalists and kemalists, the deep state, claim that three out of four regions of Crete belongs to Turkey and only one, the Chania region in the West, belongs to Greece.

Turkish news website TR Haber published the other day a post by former Secretary General of the Turkish Defense Ministry Yumit Yalim. The retired officer and geopolitical-military analyst, articulated the narrative that Crete is under… “illegal” occupation by Greece in 3 of its 4 regions.

TRHaber cheers on Twitter: “Crete belongs to Turkey! 🔴 The presence of the USA and Greece is illegal! 📌 The Greeks occupied the entire island without the approval of the Ottomans, when the lands were supposed to be transferred to the former owner.”

Ιn a deliberate mix-match of historic facts and stretched Turkish expansionist dreams, Yalim unfolds his argument that 3/4 of Crete belongs to Turkey.

“After World War I, which resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, many Turkish islands in the Aegean remained with an uncertain legal status. The most important of these islands, given to Greece by the Great Powers of the time without Turkey’s approval, is undoubtedly Crete, with its position reminiscent of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Mediterranean. Crete, one of the islands whose legal status remained unclear a century after the war. In fact, it never belonged on paper in Greece. There is no official agreement that Athens owns this entire island,” Yalim claims.

He cites the “London Agreement (30/5/1913) that defined the transfer of Crete to the ‘allied powers These ‘allied states’ defined by England consisted of Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia and Greece. After the transfer of Crete to these four countries, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia withdrew from the agreement and renounced their rights. With the withdrawal of these three countries, while it was expected that 3/4 of Crete would pass to its former owner, namely the Ottoman Empire, Athens created a de facto situation by occupying the entire island,” adds the propaganda publication.”

He cleverly misinterprets the Treaties of London and Bucharest, after the end of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, because he claims that no article mentions the concession of Crete to Greece.

“Greece was given 1/4 of Crete. The 14 islands, islets and rocks around the island continue to be under the sovereignty of the Ottoman State” writes Yalim who at the same time asks for the “evacuation” of Rethymno, Heraklion, Lasithi as well as the islands around Crete, such as Gavdos, Dias, Dionysades, Gaidouronissi and Koufonisi.

The ex secretary, of course, hides from his readers Article 4 of the Treaty of London that it clearly stated that “the Sultan renounces all that he possessed on the island of Crete and assigns to the favor of the allied sovereigns all the rights of sovereignty and all other rights that he possessed on that island,” but also the Treaty of Athens (see below).

It should also be noted that in the “Treaty of Bucharest”, singed after the end of the Second Balkan War, the defeated Bulgaria expressly renounced all its claims to Crete.

The TRHAber story runs just three days after Erdogan’s junior coalition partner, ultra-nationalist Devlet Bahceli posed with a Turkish map claiming half of the Aegean Sea with its islands and Crete.

Nevertheless, it is not the first time the Turkish deep state claims 3/4 of Crete with more or less the same false and fake arguments.

In January 2019, nationalist newspaper Sozcu published the same map of Crete – KTG reported here.
and with more or less the same fake arguments, thus citing the Treaty of London plus the one of Lausanne (1923) and of Athens (1913).

Surprise! Under term 2) of the Treaty of Athens:

“The Ottoman Empire acknowledged Greek sovereignty on the island of Crete, which had been an autonomous state under Ottoman suzerainty after 1897.”

That was probably the reason Yalim did not make any reference to the Treaty of Athens.

PS I somehow missed the Turkish argument as to why Chania is …legally Greek. Apologies (lol)

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  1. Perhaps Erdogan and his fellow travellers might consider leaving Constantinople, Byzantium, Asia Minor, Anatolia, Armenia, not to mention the Syrian landgrab currently under way, Kurdish territories and, of course, Cyprus. What would be left?

  2. Exactly! What they project is hilarious. Another of unprovoked provocation.

    It would make exponentially more sense that these chronic pirates return the entire west coast of Turkey to Greece that they stole.

    These barbaric nationalists seeking to violate international law remain underhanded, dangerous thieves.

  3. They dared not include Souda Bay I noticed.

    Instead, show a map of Greece lawfully extending its maritime borders to 12 miles.

    Extend those borders would also help Greece’s allies decipher territorial violations much better to act more decisively.

    The Greek lake and thousands of islands act as unsinkable aircraft carriers as a strong deterrent if they question Greece’s sovereignty.