Turkey has just announced a new NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) around the northern Aegean island of Lemnos, Ahval reported.
NAVTEX is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area and serve as a warning to other vessels to steer clear of an area.
“Turkey announces new NAVTEX around Greek island Lemnos until Sept. 24, citing violations of the non-militarised status bestowed on the island by the Treaty of Lausanne,” Ahval reported in a Tweet.
Turkey announces new NAVTEX around Greek island Lemnos until Sept. 24, citing violations of the non-militarised status bestowed on the island by the Treaty of Lausanne.
— Ahval (@ahval_en) September 22, 2020
Turkey claims that Greece is breaking the Treaty of Lausanne by arming its islands in self-defense.
However, the demilitarized status of Lemnos was annulled by the 1936 Montreux Treaty, which, as it categorically stated in its preamble, replaced in its entirety the aforementioned Lausanne Treaty, as previously reported by Greek City Times.
Greece’s right to militarise Lemnos and Samothrace was recognized by Turkey, in accordance with the letter sent to Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas on 6 May 1936 by the Turkish Ambassador in Athens at the time, Roussen Esref, upon instructions from his Government. The Turkish government reiterated this position when the then Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tevfik Rüştü Aras, in his address to the Turkish National Assembly on the occasion of the ratification of the Montreux Treaty, unreservedly recognised Greece’s legal right to deploy troops on Limnos and Samothrace, with the following statement:
“The provisions pertaining to the islands of Limnos and Samothrace, which belong to our neighbor and friendly country Greece and were demilitarised in application of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, were also abolished by the new Montreux Treaty, which gives us great pleasure” (Gazette of the Minutes of the Turkish National Assembly, volume 12, July 31/1936, page 309).
In exchange for the militarisation of the Greek islands as permitted by the Montreux Treaty, the Turks were able to militarise the Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits that they previously were not able to do because of restrictions in the Treaty of Lausanne, rendering the Turkish claim that the new NAVTEX is in response to the militarisation of Lemnos a farce.