| 6 October 2022, Thursday |

Turkiye calls on Greece to demilitarise Eastern Aegean islands

Tyrkey’s Foreign Minister said on Thursday, that Ankara is closely monitoring the situation in Eastern Aegean islands, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Saying that the islands were placed under Greek sovereignty as part of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties on the condition of demilitarisation, Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a televised interview that Greece has been violating this condition for decades, since the 1960s.

Last July, Turkiye’s UN Ambassador, Feridun Siniroglu, wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, decrying Greece’s “continuous flagrant violations” in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, adding that Greece has run afoul of its “solemn treaty obligations” in those waters, including violations of “basic provisions” in the Lausanne and Paris Peace Treaties that islands ceded to Athens would remain demilitarised.

“If Greece does not end this (remilitarisation of islands), the sovereignty of islands will be called into question,” Cavusoglu stressed.

He added that Turkiye will begin discussions on the sovereignty of the islands on international platforms if Greece continues breaching the treaties.

On the Ukraine-Russia dispute, Cavusoglu said Turkiye, as a side that has good relations with both countries, has taken steps to reduce tensions.

“Our contacts are ongoing. Some of these contacts are visible, some are back-stage diplomatic efforts,” he added.

Saying that the real situation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis is tense, fragile and troubled with the possibility of conflict, he added that the situation is “over exaggerated” by some Western countries.

As Turkiye is on good terms with both countries, its efforts are noticed and appreciated by everyone, he said. middleastmonitor