Many like to focus their outrage of Greek-Turkish relations being hostile because of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. However, once again we can see that the so-called “secularist” and “progressive” nationalist Kemalists are once again dreaming of expanding Turkey’s borders into Greece.
This time, Sözcü newspaper has joined the choir of Turks dreaming of occupying Greek islands.
The newspaper is an ardent follower of Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, whose crime in genociding around a million Greeks will be exposed in an upcoming documentary called “Lethal Nationalism: Genocide of the Greeks 1913-1923.”
Without wasting time, Sözcü writer Saygı Öztürk immediately says in his article that “Greece is getting ready to train its soldiers with real bullets on our islands in the Aegean,” claiming that the islands of Pserimos (Ψέριμος) and Agathonisi (Αγαθονήσι), inhabited solely by Greeks, are actually Turkish.
He continues with his delusions without shame and says that “in the Aegean, Greece, which occupies 18 Turkish islands and 2 Turkish islets, armed 16 islands despite the treaties.”
Which treaty does Öztürk refer to?
We remind our readers that as previously reported by Greek City Times, speaking with Öztürk, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said “Greece’s approach to the issue makes it difficult to solve problems on a common ground,” citing the Treaty of Lausanne as reasons why Greece must demilitarise the islands in question.
Although the Treaty of Lausanne does stipulate that Greece must demilitarise the islands, Turkey itself sees the Treaty as “expired.” We cannot forget that Maksut Serim, dubbed 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 demilitarised – ignoring the fact they have broken it on numerous occasions, most famously during the 1955 Constantinople Pogroms.
Öztürk knows that Turkish sovereignty over the islands is ridiculous, even when ignoring the fact that the islands in question were first colonised and settled by Ancient Greeks nearly 3,000 years ago.
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.
Öztürk says that Greece is occupying Turkish islands and Erdoğan poses in front of maps depicting Greek islands under Turkish sovereignty, but then the journalist has the audacity to question why Greece has not adhered to the Treaty of Lausanne that Turkey itself says has expired and has armed its islands in self-protection.
The Turkish claims to the “disputed” islands are mostly over Dodecanese Islands which were ceded to Greece from Italy at the end of World War 2 with the conclusion of the Paris Peace Treaties (1947), ending 740 years of foreign rule over the islands. Before Italy returned the Dodecanese Islands to Greek sovereignty, Article 15 of the Treaty of Lausanne had Turkey formally recognise the Italian annexation of the Dodecanese Islands.
Essentially the Sözcü writer ignored the fact that in Article 15 of the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey signed away the islands – but then Öztürk wants to use the Treaty of Lausanne to make Greece demilitarise the islands that Erdoğan dreams of stealing. So which one is it Öztürk?
Essentially Turkey believes that it should reclaim the Dodecanese Islands because Italy lost sovereignty to them. As Turkey was mostly friendly to Nazi Germany during World War 2 before declaring war on Berlin at the very last moment of the war concluding in Europe, Ankara was not privy to treaties when the war ended. Article 34 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that “a treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent.” This effectively means that Turkey cannot make any claims on the islands as Turkey is considered a third state to the Paris Peace Treaties.
According to international law, Turkey cannot make claims on Greece’s islands as they are internationally recognised by treaties. But of course, we cannot let international law get in the way of Öztürk’s claims.
There is little wonder why Turkey is one of the lowest ranked countries for media freedoms in the world, is the second most susceptible country surveyed on the European continent to fake news, has the most journalists jailed in the whole world, and 90% of media is government controlled. It is just a propaganda machine to gear all Turkish people, whether Islamist or Kemalist, towards war with Greece with lies and falsities.
Therefore, whether they are Erdoğan-styled Islamists or “progressive” and “secularist” Kemalists, Turkey is almost universally united in their delusions of expanding Turkey’s borders into Greek lands. None-the-less, having pilots that have won in consecutive years “NATO’s Best Warrior” and a navy that is undefeated since its modern creation in 1821, the Greek military is ready for any Turkish provocations and defend its land from Turkish delusions of territorial expansionism.