Retired Turkish military chief: The Greek flags should be lowered from the Aegean Islands

Naim Babüroğlu Turkish military

Former Turkish military chief and professor at the private Istanbul Aydın University, Naim Babüroğlu, demanded that Turkey lower the Greek flags from Oinousses, Pserimos and other Aegean islands and islets.

Speaking on a Habertürk show, the retired brigadier general provocatively argued that Ankara should do to the “disputed” – as he called them – Greek islands, what they did in 1996 in Imia.

“Now Turkey will lower the Greek flag from Oinousses, Pserimos, as well as from similar islands and islets near northeastern Anatolia, and then the Turkish flag will fly. It is so simple,” he said.

Continuing in the same tone, he added:  “Greece has neither the size nor the strength nor the power to threaten the Turkish Republic. And this is not a hot conflict, but we are talking about diplomatic coercion.”

The retired brigadier general repeated the story of “demilitarised” islands that violate international treaties, to the point of claiming that since Greece “changed their status”, they belong to Turkey, as the successor country of the Ottoman Empire.

“Why is Greece escalating tensions?” Naim Babüroğlu commented.

Naim Babüroğlu specifically stated: “Arriving in 1947, the Dodecanese that had been occupied by the Italians, were handed over to the Greeks.

“But I emphasise to you something, that these islands should not only be disarmed as stated in the Treaty of Lausanne, but demilitarised, that is, there should not even be soldiers.

“But we have reached the point where 23 islands, and in almost all of them, their status has changed.

“In fact there are 152 islands and islets that have not been delivered with conditions to Greece. The islands were given with the term of not just of disarmament, but of demilitarisation.

“So after you changed the regime, who owned these islands? The Ottoman state.

“And to whom does the heritage of the Ottoman state belong? It belongs to the state of the Turkish Republic.

“These are what the agreements and the documents say,” he falsely claimed.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was recently in Pserimos, was also targeted by Babüroğlu, who falsely claimed that he could not visit the island because it has the same “status” as Imia.

He also said that positive diplomatic step from Greece to Turkey is something that goes against history.

The retired military chief cites the supposed example of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visiting the island of Pserimos.

“He can not visit there, nor can there be military units on the island,” he added.

READ MORE: CNN Türk openly discusses a Turkish invasion of Greece.