Turkey’s provocations towards Greece have no end with Turkey adding a new claim and a point of dispute each and every day. This time the demilitarization of Greek islands was put on the agenda. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar demanded that 16 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea should be demilitarized.
“Greece, arming 16 out of 23 islands with non-military status, in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea, should act in accordance with international law,” Akar, according to state-run news agency Anadolu.
“We expect Greece to act according to international law, agreements and good neighborly relations,” he added during his visit to missile producer Rokersan.
The two neighbors are already at loggerheads over offshore natural-gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions over conflicting claims have escalated since Turkey and Libya signed a illegal agreement last year that outlines maritime borders and affirms claims of sovereignty over areas of the Mediterranean which clearly belong to Greece.
Turkey’s claims could make it more difficult and costly to build a planned natural-gas pipeline that could link the eastern Mediterranean basin with European markets through Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
Responding to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Greek Foreign Ministry says it is ‘at least hypocritical’ for a country ‘that systematically violates the territorial integrity and sovereignty of almost all of its neighbouring countries’ to be invoking international law.