Turkey Tells UN Greece Provocateur Over Seas Disputes, Violations


A Greek soldier on Kastellorizo Island. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

Simultaneously wanting diplomacy while vowing to drill for energy off Greek islands, Turkey has now complained to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Greece is to blame for the provocations.

That's over the countries dispute to rights in the Aegean and East Mediterranean which had at times brought them to near-conflict levels before Turkey withdrew and energy research vessel and warship near the island of Kastellorizo.

Turkey's UN envoy Feridun Sinirlioğlu sent a letter to Guterres in which he said Greece broke "her solemn treaty obligations" in those waters, including violations of "basic provisions" in the Lausanne and Paris Peace Treaties that islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean ceded to Athens would remain demilitarized. Turkey doesn't recognize those treaties though.

"The Turkish government is in possession of detailed and well-documented information regarding the ongoing militarization of those islands in contravention of" those treaties, wrote Sinirlioğlu, said the Turkish news site The Daily Hurriyet.

"Greece's continuing deliberate and persistent material breach of the demilitarization provisions of the Lausanne and Paris Peace Treaties, which are essential to the accomplishment of their object and purpose, constitutes a serious threat to the security of Turkey. Equally importantly and given their escalatory nature, such breaches carry wider implications in terms of a threat to peace and security in the region," added Sinirlioğlu.

He didn't explain why Turkey is invoking a treaty it doesn't accept although it has done that repeatedly but rejected Greece doing the same to protect its sovereign territories.

Sinirlioğlu told Guterres that the violations "means that Greece cannot vis-a-vis Turkey, rely on its title under the same treaties for the purpose of a maritime boundary delimitation."

"This is because Greece, having failed to fulfill its obligations under the treaties, cannot at the same time be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from them," wrote Sinirlioğlu although that's what Turkey wants to do.