Big Shot Names Want UK to Back Greece, Cyprus Against Turkey

LONDON — Diplomacy hasn't worked and neither have soft sanctions but now a group of big name academics, politicians and authors said the British government should support Greece and Cyprus – where it has military bases – against Turkish provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean.

It was done in a Letter to the Editor in the British newspaper The Times, signed by 25 prominent persons in their fields upset that Turkey won't recognize the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) except when to its advantage.

With Turkey planning to drill for oil and gas off Greek islands as it has been doing off Cyprus with the UN and United States looking the other way and the European Union issuing slap on the wrist penalties against Turkish oil company owners but not Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is exempted.

NATO, the defense alliance to which Greece and Turkey belong has said it won't intervene over Turkish violations of Greek airspace and waters and its Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he wants no part of the dilemma.

They also wrote that they are “deeply concerned by President Erdogan’s escalation of rhetoric and threat” and said the refusal to recognize the Law of the Sea is “a deliberate attempt by Ankara to deprive island states and states with island interests of their rights under customary international law.”

They added that is policy “is fomenting regional tension. European governments, including Britain’s, must give a clear message of support to states such as Greece and Cyprus that are upholding multilateral rules.

“Turkey’s NATO allies need to be unequivocal that Ankara’s provocations are not acceptable. A policy of equidistance between Turkey and Greece in this matter is inappropriate. The only feasible way to reduce tension and bring about stability is through respect for UNCLOS and processes of international law.”

They were ignored.


ANKARA — Former US Sen Jeff Flake formally stepped into his new position as US ambassador to Turkey on Wednesday, after presenting his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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