There is no question over the sovereignty of the Greek islands in the Aegean as stated by a representative of the United States Department of State Friday.
The response was given when asked to comment on recent statements made on Thursday by the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu which revealed that Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, has resorted to an unprecedented escalation.
“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected. Greek sovereignty over the islands is unquestionable,” the spokesman for the State Department clarified in answer to a question on the Hellas Journal website regarding the Turkish minister’s statements.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Ankara is arguing that the militarisation of the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean violates the international treaties that determined their concession and therefore a question of sovereignty may arise.
He said that Ankara is threatening to launch an international campaign against Greece regarding its sovereignty over islands in the eastern Aegean which, it insists, is conditional on their demilitarisation according to past treaties.
Cavusoglu proclaimed that Ankara will ask the parties to the Lausanne and Paris treaties to take a stand on Greece’s position regarding the demilitarisation status of the islands.
Cavusoglu’s announcement was the most recent of a long series of challenges by Ankara to Greek sovereignty, including the submission of its claims in official documents to the United Nations and constant illegal overflights in the Aegean by Turkish fighter jets.
The Greek Foreign Ministry has rejected the Turkish demands to demilitarise its islands, dismissing them as going “beyond simple logic.”
“Regarding the latest accusations of Turkish officials about the status of the Aegean islands, we reject them in their entirety,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Papaioannou.
“These accusations not only do not comply with basic principles of international law, but they also go beyond simple logic. The Greek position on this issue has been expressed repeatedly and publicly.”
Papaioannou said that Athens has sent a letter from Greece’s permanent representative to the UN to the United Nations secretary-general about the issue.