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Politics

Turkish Objections Rejected, Greece Pursuing Aegean Marine Parks Plans

ATHENS – While there’s been a rapprochement between the countries, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece will go ahead with a proposal to create marine parks in despite complaints from Turkey, which it will do the same.

He told Action24 TV that, “These are marine parks within our territorial waters. There has been a lot of pointless discussion on this issue. It doesn’t concern Turkey. If Turkey wants to create its own parks within its territorial waters, that’s none of my business,” he said.

Turkey, even during the detente, has challenged the sovereignty of the seas and is putting into schools the teaching of its Blue Homeland doctrine which claims Greek territories and disputes maritime boundaries.

In April, the New Democracy government announced plans to create parks in the Aegean Sea and the Ionian as part of a 780-million-euro ($843.18 million) program to protect biodiversity and marine ecosystems.

Turkey, which had warned it would be a cause for war if Greece doubled its maritime boundaries to 12 miles in the Aegean as it did in the Ionian off the west coast, complained the marine parks were a political exploitation, not just an environmental plan.

“There are no ‘gray zones’ in the Aegean for Greece. The sovereignty issues in the Aegean – I also mentioned this to President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan – are defined by the Treaty of Lausanne,” he said, referring to their meeting in Ankara on May 13.

But Turkey doesn’t recognize that 1923 treaty that set boundaries between the countries and Erdogan has openly coveted return of some islands off Turkey’s coast ceded to Greece, complaining some are close that Turks can hear roosters crow

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