Dendias shadows on normalisation process

Greece
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 8:22 GMT
Dendias shadow on the normalisation of relations between Türkiye and Greece!
Dendias shadows on normalisation process

The positive process between Türkiye and Greece entered a new phase with the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Athens last December.

Although Ankara's stance in favour of good neighbourly relations continues, Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias has made actions and statements that could damage the atmosphere. Although Ankara declares that it will not make any concessions on any issue that would prejudice its national interests and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, it emphasises the need to evaluate the potential in areas where cooperation can be made.

Last week, Athens issued NOTAM and NAVTEX to conduct exercises in the territorial waters of the islands with non-military status, despite the risk of spoiling the positive atmosphere.

In the article written by Betül Usta for Sabah newspaper, it is stated that Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias is trying to overshadow the normalisation process between Türkiye and Greece.

Dendias, who was appointed as defence minister last year after serving as Greece's foreign minister for a while, has caused discomfort among the Turkish people with his provocative actions and discourses since the beginning of the year.

NON-MILITARY EMPHASISED THEIR MILITARY PRESENCE ON THE ISLAND

Dendias visited Limni, which became a non-military island on 1 January 2024, where he said: "I would like to assure you of the great happiness and emotion I feel to be in Limni today. The strategic location of the island and its importance for the defence of our homeland and our country's extensive rights in the Aegean Sea are, I think, known to everyone. It cannot escape your attention that Greek domination in the Aegean Sea was established during the Balkan War by naval battles in this region, in particular the Naval Battle of 5 January, a few days from today. But beyond this, the strategic importance of Limni is also well known. For this reason, the presence of the Armed Forces of our country here is important and will continue to be important."

COMPETITION WITH TÜRKİYE

On 14 January, he said: 'Türkiye has made breakthroughs and we have taken steps backwards. This is unacceptable. On 6 February, referring to Turkey, he said that the country should have a navy equipped with unprecedented strength and should move forward in producing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

PARTICIPATED IN MILITARY FLIGHT IN THE AEGEAN

On 19 February, he announced in a social media post that he "participated in a flight of the Greek Air Force's F-16 Viper military aircraft over the southeastern and central part of the Aegean Sea.

"CONCERN" ABOUT GOOD RELATIONS

Dendias said on 21 February that he was concerned about the relations between the two countries. "I am worried even though both countries are creating a positive atmosphere and taking steps to calm the waters in the Aegean," Dendias said. "Although Turkey has lowered its tone recently, there is still no change in its positions. Turkey has lowered its tone but has not changed its position even remotely. What should we conclude from this? We should have no illusions when planning the next decade," he said.

"CHALLENGE" TO SOVEREIGNTY

On 21 February 2024, in an interview with Makis Provatas in the Podcast meetings programme; "Lausanne and other treaties can be easily read by the Turks, as we know that the Turks know very well that beyond three miles is Greek territory. So they are trying to create an island issue to create a second line of defence to the first line of defence, which is absolutely wrong, that islands do not have the right to the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone. In other words, they are creating a second challenge. This second challenge is unacceptable," he said.

SABAH

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