Turkey warned Greece on Tuesday it would not accept an expansion of Greek territorial sea boundaries, a few days after Athens said it planned to extend its territorial waters from 6 miles to 12 miles.
Turkish authorities reminded Greece of a 1995 parliamentary declaration in which Ankara authorised action, not excluding military action, to safeguard Turkish interests in the Aegean.
“It is not possible to tolerate steps where there is no bilateral agreement on the Aegean where the two countries have mutual shores,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
The decision to extend its territorial waters is Greece’s sovereign right, Greece’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Gennimatas said in response to press questions on official Turkish statements.
Gennimatas said that the right to extend territorial waters (currently at 6 miles) is a legal and inalienable sovereign right of Greece that is based on international law. This right is not open to doubt or negotiation by third parties, he said, and obviously holds true for the entire country.
Arbitrary interpretations of international law and threats of violence by Turkey, such as challenges to the country’s legal rights, cannot change this fact or contribute to good neighbourly relations, the Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman added.