With Turkey failing to asymmetrically invade Greece with illegal immigrants last month across the land border at Thrace, the Turkish leadership are finding new ways to pressurize Greece.
As Greece has one of the most powerful navies in the world, one that has not been defeated in combat since its modern formation in 1821, Turkey is demanding that Greece demilitarize 16 of its Aegean islands.
Speaking with Sözcü, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, said “We are in favor of international law, good neighborly relations and solving problems with dialogue in relations with Greece. We want to improve the neighborhood.”
Turkey saying it wants good neighborly relations is of course a laughable claim considering earlier this year it attempted to invade Idlib province in neighboring Syria and last month attempted to asymmetrically invade Greece with illegal immigrants – in which it utterly failed in both attempts of aggression.
“Greece’s approach to the issue makes it difficult to solve problems on a common ground,” the defense minister said, citing the Treaty of Lausanne as reasons why Greece must demilitarize the 16 islands in question.
Although the Treaty of Lausanne does stipulate that Greece must demilitarize the islands, Turkey itself sees the Treaty as “expired.” We remind our readers that Maksut Serim, dubbed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “secret keeper,” told Ahmet Ergün, a close friend of Erdoğan for decades, in a wiretapped phone conversation in 2013 that “this is the year the Lausanne Treaty expired and the articles of the Lausanne Treaty were shelved,” as revealed by Nordic Monitor.
So on one hand Turkey says the Treaty of Lausanne is “shelved,” but then also uses it against Greece in an attempt to have the islands demilitarized.
On September 2, 2019 Erdoğan was photographed at an official ceremony at the National Defense University in Istanbul in front of a map that showed half of the Aegean Sea and many Greek islands belonging to Turkey.
This puts a mockery to Akar’s claims that Turkey wants “good neighborly relations.”
Then in November 2019, Turkey with the Muslim Brotherhood government of Libya, created a new map that split some of Greece’s maritime space between them. In the revised map that was internationally condemned and rejected, the Greek island of Kastellorizo was completely omitted.
Akar also says “While our neighbor is talking about international law and accusing us of harassing us without any reality, even the Lausanne Treaty is a crime of violation. For example; despite the 1923 Lausanne Treaty and the 1947 Paris Treaty, they have armed the islands.”
Is there little wonder why Greece has militarized the islands considering how openly and blatantly Erdoğan shows his desire to occupy Greek islands?
It is very clear that Turkey has an ambition to occupy Greek islands, which is why it makes every attempt to denounce Greece.
Turkey knows that so-long as the islands are militarized and protected by an undefeated navy and an air force whose pilots won the “Best Warrior in NATO” awards in 2018, 2019 and 2020, it cannot take the islands.
For this reason Turkey is now attempting to use international law, the Treaty of Lausanne, that itself does not recognize and violated on numerous occasions, including in 1955 when it conducted a pogrom on Constantinople’s Greek community, reducing the community from 110,000 people to only 3-4000 today.