Turkey wants Greek officials to ask for permission to visit Greek islands; Greece sends letter to UN

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Turkey has declared that as successor to the Ottoman Empire it has sovereignty to all Aegean islands that are not mentioned by name in international treaties and Greek officials will require permission to travels  to the islands in the East Med reportes The BHMA newspaper.

‘After months of declarations from top Turkish government officials that Greece’s sovereignty over a number of its islands in the eastern Mediterranean is contingent upon Athens demilitarising them, now Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has reportedly decided that he wishes to forbid Deputy Defence Minister Nikos Hardalias from visiting the said islands without Ankara’s permission.’

The outrageous claims made by Turkey have tested the patience of Athens, forcing Greece to send two letters to the United Nations Secretary General rejecting the entirety of Turkey’s arguments about the status of the Greek islands in the Aegean, government sources said on Tuesday.

The sources were commenting to earlier statements the same day by Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu after he met his counterpart of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, in which he said that “the sovereignty of the Aegean islands will come into question if Greece does not stop violating international treaties,” as cited by the Anadolu news agency. Cavusoglu was referring to Turkey’s ongoing demand that Greece demilitarize the islands.

In the two letters to the UN Secretary General, Greece’s permanent representative at the UN refutes Turkey’s arguments as legally unsustainable, having clearly revisionist motives, and further fueling the instability Turkey creates with its actions, the sources said.