Turkish Opposition Chief: ‘Is Pserimos Greek?’



Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (file photo)

 

Turkey’s main opposition leader has issued a strong call for the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to clarify whether 18 islets in the Aegean Sea in fact belong to Turkey.

Leader of the secular Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, made the call in Turkey’s parliament this week, demanding answers from the government of Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

In comments translated by tourkikanea.gr, Kilicdaroglu included the small Greek island of Pserimos, close to the Turkish coast and home to around 80 people, asking “to whom does it belong? Is it ours or Greece’s”

Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads for years over a series of territorial disputes in the Aegean, and it is not the first time Turkey’s opposition has latched onto the issue.

Pserimos is close to the islet of Imia (Kardak in Turkish), which almost led the two countries to the brink of war in 1996.

Earlier this week tensions were heightened when a Turkish coastguard vessel apparently clipped a Greek gunboat.

Less than a week ago, members of Kilicdaroglu’s party honored former Greek premier George Papandreou at a reception in Istanbul.