President Pavlopoulos says no “grey zones” in the Aegean amid new airspace violations by Turkey

Prokopis Pavlopoulos

Prokopis Pavlopoulos

 by Aggelos Skordas

Amid yet another barrage of airspace violation by Turkish aircrafts over the Aegean, the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos sent a clear and strict message to Ankara on Tuesday that it should respect International Law and the European acquis. Only hours before the Greek President’s anniversary speech delivered from the island of Symi for the celebrations of the 73rdanniversary of the Dodecanese islands concession to the Allies following World War II and the Axis defeat, Turkish fighter jets (six F-16s and two CN-235) violated Greece’s airspace at the northeastern, central and southeastern Aegean on seven occasions, one of which resulted in a dogfight as Greek aircrafts identified and intercepted the Turkish jets.

As Pavlopoulos noted, it should be made clear towards every direction that “in the Aegean -and especially in the Dodecanese- there are no ‘grey zones’”. The border of Greece is also the border of the European Union, he stressed during his proclamation as an honorary citizen of Symi. The ceremonial meeting of the municipal council, which took place at the Cultural Center of Symi, was also attended by the Vice-President of the Greek Parliament Dimitris Kremastinos, the Deputy Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Nektarios Santorinios, the President of the Movement of Change Fofi Gennimata and numerous local MPs.

The status of the final concession of the Dodecanese in Greece is governed by the provisions of the Paris Peace Treaty signed in April 1947 between the Allies, the victors of  World War II and Italy. Of particular importance within this institutional framework are the provisions of Article 14 of the Treaty, Pavlopoulos said, according to which: “1. Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese Islands indicated hereafter, namely Astypalaia, Rhodes, Chalki, Karpathos, Kasos, Tilos, Nisyros, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, Leipsoi, Symi, Kos and Kastellorizo, as well as the adjacent islets. 2. These islands shall be and shall remain demilitarised.”

“It is clear, therefore, that the wording of Paragraph 1, Article 14 of the Paris Peace Treaty is so clear that it leaves no margin for the substance and extent of the sovereignty of Greece and the European Union over the Dodecanese”, the Greek President said, adding that this is a “complete” sovereignty, which means that there is no restriction in its exercise. The President stressed: “Any dispute of it consists violation of the International and European Law. Challenging our borders is a challenge to the territorial integrity of the European Union. These conclusions concern not only the defense of the borders, the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of our country, but also the subsequent defense of the borders and the territorial integrity of the European Union itself.”

Concluding, Pavlopoulos underlined that “the European Law and the corresponding acquis are added to the International Law -above all, as mentioned, the Paris Treaty of 1947 and the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923- in order to clarify that the borders and the territory of Greece and the European Union can not be disputed in any way and, on the other hand, there are no ‘gray zones’ in the Aegean”.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.