Militarizing islands in Aegean Sea is dead end for Greece: Turkish official

Greece
Sat, 4 Jun 2022 9:26 GMT
Best way for Greece to solve problems is to sit down at negotiating table with Türkiye, says Omer Celik Greece’s militarization of islands in the Aegean Sea is "unlawful" and will lead nowhere, the spokesman of Türkiye’s Justice and Development (AK) Party...
Militarizing islands in Aegean Sea is dead end for Greece: Turkish official

Best way for Greece to solve problems is to sit down at negotiating table with Türkiye, says Omer Celik

Greece’s militarization of islands in the Aegean Sea is "unlawful" and will lead nowhere, the spokesman of Türkiye’s Justice and Development (AK) Party said Friday.

Greece should understand that the best way “to solve the problems is to sit at the (negotiating) table with Türkiye. (But now) Greece chose an unlawful path by militarizing islands. This is a dead end," Omer Celik said on Twitter.

Türkiye in recent months has stepped up criticism of Greece stationing troops on islands in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast and in many cases visible from shore. These islands were required to be demilitarized under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.

Also rejecting Greece’s "unacceptable" statements aimed against Türkiye, Celik stressed that Athens cannot solve problems between the countries by complaining to other countries about Türkiye.

Greece should also be more careful in its remarks about Türkiye's activities in its "blue homeland," a maritime region based on the country's sovereign rights, said Celik. "The extreme declarations of other countries mean nothing to our sovereignty or in the face of the law," he added.

Countries which support Greek moves that violate international law do not have good intentions for Turkish-Greek relations, he added.

Türkiye has a number of issues with Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration over maritime limits and rights in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.

While seeking to defend its fair share of maritime territory in the region, Ankara has decried recent Greek moves such as violating treaties and pacts by issuing provocative navigational alerts, militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea, and illegally encroaching on Türkiye’s continental shelf.

​​​​​​​Türkiye, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Türkiye and the Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara has, however, repeatedly stressed that it is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region – including maritime disputes – through international law, good neighborly relations, and dialogue.

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