Foreigners coming to Turkey's southern and western coasts, where millions of tourists are welcomed every year, cannot help but be taken aback. What surprises them is not the beauty of our country's shores, the longest in the Mediterranean, but the fact that the islands that they see when they look out beyond the blue water are Greek!
Hundreds of islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean that are as close to Turkey as an eye and eyebrow are to each other are under Greece's domain, resulting in so many absurdities. For instance, a ship that sets sail from Istanbul has to pass Greek territorial waters to reach Izmir, another Turkish city. Also, when you get to the island of Samos, which can be reached only 500 strokes (1,575 meters) from Turkey’s Dilek peninsula, you end up in Greece even though there are hundreds of kilometers between the Greek mainland and Samos. Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis), which is only 1,950 meters (1.2 miles) away from the district of Kaş in southwest Turkey, also belongs to Greece, which is 550 kilometers away!
On top of this, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ administration is now threatening to increase Greece's domain in the Aegean to 12 nautical miles (22 km), which would mean that we cannot even dip our feet into our own seas without the permission of Athens, while we are now free to take at least a few strokes.
An Aug. 28 report in the European press is also extremely worrying. From news photos, fully equipped Greek soldiers can be seen landing with a caravan of tourists from a ferry docked on the island of Kastellorizo. According to the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the Paris Peace Treaties signed in 1947, however, Athens is prohibited from having armed forces and fortifications other than law enforcement on the Dodecanese Islands and other several Aegean islands.
Greece's recent military investments, made while in the grips of an economic crisis, which include the purchase of fighter jets, are a reflection of Athens' aggressive stance in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.
So, what are the European Union and NATO doing in the face of Athens' piracy attempts – with support from Paris, which previously burned Libya – in the Mediterranean?
NATO is silent.
Athens has been sponging on the EU for years by exploiting its membership advantages and it is now pressuring Brussels to threaten Belarus to put an annotation to sanctions in the Mediterranean crisis.
Then how will we get out of this? Will we once again turn a blind eye to the spoiled child of Europe and allow it to drag the Mediterranean into chaos and war?
It is not hard to predict that this will have a terrible cost, is it?
In this regard, the objective interpretation and proposal of Koert Debeuf, the former adviser and spokesperson for the Belgian prime minister, about the theses of Greece are noteworthy: “Given the current picture, Greek claims based on the exclusive economic zone of its islands are disproportionate compared to the length of the Turkish coast in the Eastern Mediterranean. I think Turkey has a point about the leveling of the distribution as it is not fair at all. Turkey has a point saying that it has less sea than it actually deserves ... It may not work right now just for Turkey and Greece to sit at the negotiating table. The issue may need to be moved to a higher level politically. I think it is best that this is under the U.N.’s umbrella. A political solution must be found before applying to court.”
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.