MP Angelos Syrigos Stirs Controversy Calling Lausanne Treaty ‘Obsolete’

MP Angelos Syrigos

New Democracy MP Angelos Syrigos has stirred up a political storm with his assertion that the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 – which defined the borders of Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey – is largely outdated, except for its regulations on border restrictions.

Well-versed in the nuances of international law as an associate professor, Syrigos, in an interview with Greek state broadcaster ERT, claimed that 97% of the treaty is irrelevant today, pointing to obsolete provisions related to Ottoman debt, prisoner exchanges, Allied cemeteries, and contracts from the Ottoman era.

His critique specifically aimed at the treaty’s clause on the demilitarization of the eastern Aegean islands, which he labelled as antiquated. This view aligns with the official Greek position since 1995, leading to a perennial discord with Turkey, which continues to uphold the treaty’s demilitarization terms.

Opposition Alarm Bells

The controversial remarks have set off alarm bells among Greece’s opposing political groups. The leftist SYRIZA and socialist PASOK have voiced grave concerns. They fear that Syrigos’ comments risk weakening Greece’s stance and offering Turkey an edge in the ongoing Greek-Turkish dialogue. The dialogue, currently taking place through The Hague, aims to resolve longstanding maritime disputes.

SYRIZA President Stefanos Kasselakis has been especially vocal in criticising Syrigos’ statements, suggesting they serve Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s interests. He has urged the Greek Government to refrain from making national concessions towards Turkey and warns against deviating from the established Greek government position regarding the Treaty of Lausanne.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024