Irredentist Rhetoric Continues as Turkish FM Claims ‘Imia Is Turkish Land’

cavusogluAs tensions between Greece and Turkey continues to rise over several issues, one topic that continues to come up is Turkey’s claims that dozens of Greek islands are in fact Turkish property.

On Wednesday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke in front of his country’s national assembly stating claims over the Greek islands of Imia, a pair of two small uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea, saying, “There is no change in our policy regarding Imia. Imia is Turkish land.”

The words of FM Cavusoglu did not go unnoticed by Greek officials as Turkey’s claims to Imia have previously led the two countries to disputes which came extremely close to an outbreak of military forces in both 1987 and as recently as 1996.

In response to Cavusoglu’s comments, a high-ranking Greek diplomat underlined to protothema.gr that “Greece’s position over the legal status quo of the Aegean is absolutely straightforward and clear.”

This latest irredentist rhetoric from Turkey follows an escalating war of words from Turkish President Recep Erdogan staking claims to hundreds of Greek islands and disputing the sovereignty of Greece and related rights in the area of the Aegean Sea.