Greece publishes 16 maps exposing Turkish claims

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a total of 16 maps “to raise awareness of the general public about Turkish revisionism,” the statement said.

All 16 maps in PDF format with explanation in English on the website of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs link here.

The notes accompanying the maps state that “they reflect Turkey’s claims for a review of the status quo in the region in 1973-2022” regarding Greek territorial waters, the continental shelf and the islands. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of Turkish revisionism on a grand scale, the accompanying maps vividly and unambiguously illustrate Turkey’s illegal unilateral actions and claims. The maps begin with the status quo enshrined in the Lausanne (1923) and Paris (1947) treaties. It then shows Turkish claims that began with the illegal issuance of a license to the Turkish State Oil Company (TRAO) to explore for oil on the Greek continental shelf in the northern Aegean Sea in 1973, including an attempt to deprive Greece of responsibility for conducting search and rescue operations in half of the Aegean. seas in the 80s, the theory of “gray zones” (the areas of Greek territorial waters and islands disputed by Turkey – TASS note) in the 90s, escalation with new licenses [на геолого-разведочные работы] in the Eastern Mediterranean, the adoption as the official doctrine of the “Blue Motherland” (Ankara’s claims to vast territorial waters and the territorial shelf in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Seas – TASS note), the “Turkish-Libyan memorandum”, and now the Turkish theory of the regime demilitarization of the Aegean Islands.

According to the Foreign Ministry, “the above maps document the scale of Turkish revisionism aimed at changing the status quo, violating international law and international maritime law, creating a threat to peace, security and stability in the region.”

The threat of war from Turkey

Turkey has not signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to which countries can expand their territorial waters to 12 nautical miles. In 1995, during the ratification of this convention by the Greek parliament, Ankara declared that if Greece expanded its territorial waters from 6 to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean, it would be considered a violation of Turkish national sovereignty and would therefore become a casus belli. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay threatened Greece on August 29, 2020 with war if it expands its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean Sea.

Greece does not recognize the memorandum of understanding signed by Ankara with the government of Tripoli in November 2019 on the delimitation of maritime zones between Turkey and Libya. According to the Greek Foreign Ministry, the document, which contains coordinates for the actual demarcation of the sea shelf and the exclusive economic zones of Turkey and Libya, deprives the Greek islands, which are located between Turkey and Libya, of the right to the continental shelf and EEZ.

On May 31, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece of violating the status of the demilitarization of the islands in the Aegean Sea. According to him, “Greece has violated the status of the islands, they should be demilitarized, otherwise the question of ownership of the islands will be on the agenda.”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in January that “Turkey has deployed the largest amphibious force and the largest amphibious fleet in the Mediterranean opposite the Greek islands” and at the same time demands that Greece demilitarize its islands, that is, renounce the recognized right to self-defense, provided for in the UN Charter. Dendias then stressed that Greece offers Turkey to comply with the norms of international law and abandon the threat of war, which Ankara intends to declare if Greece expands its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea from 6 to 12 nautical miles.

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