Greek President rebukes Turkish MP accusation in Council of Europe speech

greek president

The Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou has rebuked a false claim by a Turkish MP who suggested Greece had not recognised the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Greece has "recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague, since 1994," said Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Wednesday following her address at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.

“We have done it since 1994, in contrast to Turkey, which does not recognize its jurisdiction” replied the President of the Republic.

The Greek president further responded that "in 2015, Greece renewed the recognition, making a relevant statement and adding specific exceptions, following the example of other European or non-European countries. On the contrary, Turkey, as we know, has not recognized the above jurisdiction of the court."

On the issue of the war in Ukraine, Sakellaropolou said the Russian attack was not just territorial or geostrategic aggression. “It indicates the direct and full-fledged challenge to liberal democracy and European values.”

“Russia’s provocative and abominable war in Ukraine reminds us of the illegal invasion of Turkey by Cyprus 48 years ago,” Katerina Sakellaropoulou said.

Sakellaropoulou is paying a visit to Strasbourg from June 21 to 25. During her visit she will have successive meetings with the CoE Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović-Burić, PACE President Tiny Kox, the president of the ECHR Robert Spano, the president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Leendert Verdeek and CoE Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović.

The Greek president will attend the start of the judicial year at the ECHR and launch the new wing "Freedom of Expression" at its library, commemorating Prof. Stavros Tsakyrakis.

Her last stop will be a visit to the former WWII Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp.

On Monday and Tuesday, she paid a visit to Luxembourg and met with Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and former European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, while she also paid a visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union.