Turkish President Erdogan warns Greece against demilitarization of Aegean islands

ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned Greece against demilitarizing islands in the Aegean, saying he was “not joking” with such comments.

Turkey says Greece has established a military presence in the Aegean in violation of treaties guaranteeing the islands’ unarmed statues. It argues that the islands were ceded to Greece on condition that they remain demilitarized.

Greece argues that Turkey deliberately misinterpreted the treaties over the armed forces in its eastern islands and says it has legal grounds to defend itself after hostile action by Ankara, including a long-standing threat of war if it expands its territorial waters.

Erdogan’s warning comes amid a fresh escalation in tensions between NATO allies, who have a history of disputes over a range of issues including mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean.

“We call on Greece to stop arming the islands with non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdogan said on the final day of military exercises held near Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean coast. “I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.”


“We warn Greece to steer clear of dreams and actions it will regret and to come to its senses,” Erdogan said. “Turkey will not give up its rights in the Aegean, just as it will not shy away from using its rights under international agreements.”

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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/06/09/turkeys-erdogan-warns-greece-to-demilitarize-aegean-islands/ Turkish President Erdogan warns Greece against demilitarization of Aegean islands

Sarah Y. Kim

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