Turkey is playing (again) with fire

Turkey Issues Navtexes Blocking Off Large Swaths of Aegean Sea

By Patricia Claus

In yet another poke in the eye of Greece and NATO, the nation of Turkey on Tuesday issued three new Navtexes, or maritime Telexes, blocking off huge areas of the Aegean Sea.

Giving as a reason that Greece had militarized several eastern Aegean Islands including Samos, Chios, Samothrace, Lemnos, Ikaria and Patmos, the move comes after a year filled with Turkish Navtexes blocking off areas of the Mediterranean as That nation purportedly searched for oil and gas off Cyprus and Crete.

The messages claim that such military facilities maintained by Greece on Greek islands which happen to be near the Turkish mainland violate the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed in 1923, setting the borders of the modern states of Greece and Turkey.

Earlier in the day, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had stated “Turkey has left no room for any kind of positive agenda at the forthcoming European Council,” adding that any last-minute “goodwill” gesture by Turkey now will be little more than a ploy and that “it’s not easy to fool the European Union.”

“Escalating its provocative, aggressive and illegal behavior, Turkey announced that it will extend its seismic research until November 29,” he said.

Illegal activities

In other words, he added, Turkey has been constantly escalating its illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean between August and the present day, while blatantly violating international law and the Law of the Sea.

Turkey was striving to create a fait accompli by force, Dendias noted, to the detriment of EU member states, while despising not only the clear positions and decisions of the EU, but also the calls from the international community to desist.

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“Unfortunately, Turkey has missed another important opportunity to stop — when this would still have any meaning — its continued illegal behavior,” he said.

Destabilizing factor

“It is now clear and generally accepted in Europe that Turkey has chosen to act in a way that undermines international law and European goals. It has chosen to act as a revisionary and destabilizing factor, dangerous to the security of both the immediate and wider region, but also to the priorities and values expressed and promoted by the EU.”

Dendias stated that “although the signs from the beginning did not leave much room for optimism, Greece, throughout this time, has systematically stated that it is ready for dialogue, provided the provocations stop.”

The Foreign Minister concluded by saying “We firmly believe that this is the only legitimate way to resolve the dispute we have with the neighboring country.”

Published at greece.greekreporter.com

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