ANKARA – For the umpteenth time, Turkey has repeated its insistence that Greek remove troops off Greek islands, citing the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that Turkey doesn’t recognize, along with the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties.
Those treaties have demilitarization provisions that Turkey said must be met, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling his country’s Parliament that Greece has violated it on Aegean islands since 1960.
He said that Greek sovereignty over these islands remains dependent upon demilitarization, suggesting Turkey would – as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had openly coveted their return – seize them otherwise.
Cavusoglureferred Turkish lawmakers to the letter sent by its Permanent Representative to the United Nations Feridun Sinirlioglu to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late September, said Kathimerini, about the same.
That came two weeks after the Turkish Defense Ministry reiterated its assertion that Greece can’t have troops on islands near the coast of Turkey, and Greece refusing to even hear it.
Turkish Defense Ministry spokeswoman Major Pinar Kara accused Greece then of “unlawful, provocative and aggressive” actions and said that since the beginning of the year that Greece has consistently violated the demilitarization regime of the islands, and called on Athens to “stop its illegal stance and start a dialogue with Turkey,” said Kathimerini then.
“The Turkish Armed Forces in the Aegean and the Mediterranean will continue to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the TRNC,” she said, in reference to the unrecognized occupied northern third of Cyprus.
Turkey is also drilling off Cyprus, which also pulled back demands for sanctions, letting Erdogan walk away from a showdown in Brussels with almost everything he wanted and Greece and Cyprus left with only vows of sanctions if occasional diplomatic talks fail as usual.