February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece-Turkey: secret talks on the demilitarization of the Aegean islands under German guarantees

The demilitarization of the Eastern Aegean and Dodecanese islands, the reduction of national airspace to 6 miles, the recognition of the EEZ agreement between Turkey and Libya in exchange for the rejection of the unilateral declaration of the EEZ in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean – such was the content of Ankara’s proposal at a meeting of the two countries under the auspices of Berlin last Friday.

The meeting took place between press secretary R.T. Erdogan by Ibrahim Kalin and the director of the diplomatic office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Anna-Maria Bura, as it became known from the Turkish press (Milliyet). Jens Plötner, Adviser for Foreign and Security Policy of the German Chancellery, also attended the meeting.

The German side agreed to Turkey’s demand for the demilitarization of the Aegean Sea, and as an example of a “reliable guarantor” for itself, it uses the fact that it did not allow the Greek BMP-1 sent to Ukraine to be replaced on the islands.

The old Marder-1A3, transferred to Greece by Berlin, was forbidden to be transferred to the islands of the Aegean Sea, and they were transferred to Evros, as having little operational value. Because who wins and prevails in the event of a conflict in Thrace does not depend on a few dozen (currently less than 10) Marder units.

The secret diplomacy of the Greek government, which led to the partial demilitarization of the islands and the sending of military equipment to Ukraine (the BMP-1, a number of RM-70 rocket launchers, FHM-92 Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft systems, etc. were removed from the islands).

In total, the following have been withdrawn from the islands of the Aegean in the last ten months:

  • 122 BMP-1 with all ammunition for machine guns.
  • 15,000 73mm rockets, with all ammunition, including all rockets.
  • 15-25 RM-70 122mm rocket launchers.
  • 15,000 122mm rockets.
  • 20,000 AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles.
  • 3,200,000 rounds of 7.62 mm.
  • 60 MANPADS FIM-92 Stinger.
  • 17,000 155 mm artillery shells.
  • 1100 RPG-18 anti-tank missiles.

The Greek side did not comment on Turkey’s demands. She simply noted that she “cannot agree to immediate demilitarization” and mentioned the next meeting, “after the elections in Greece”….(!?). Obviously, the discussion will not continue until the elections in Turkey next June. If there is a change of government in Athens, discussions about demilitarization will be interrupted. If not, then perhaps by this time next year an agreement will be concluded between Greece and Turkey …

Everything is said to have been prearranged at the infamous Mitsotakis-Erdogan dinner on the Bosphorus in order to bring about the “sharing of opportunities in the economic sector” in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean that Scholz mentioned.

Strangely, Scholz publicly stated that in his negotiations with Mitsotakis he found him… “absolutely ready to come to an understanding.”



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