The first official response from Turkey to Greece regarding the Greek government’s announcement this week for plans to inhabit 28 inlets in the Aegean sea came on Thursday from the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu.
Muftuoglu said in a statement to the Daily Sabah newspaper that “We have declared several times that we will not accept possible de facto circumstances that were created by Greek policy on disputed geographical formations.”
Greece’s Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios has set forth a plan that details inhabiting some 28 uninhabited Aegean islets for economic development which he has yet to specifically name.
There are several inlets in the Aegean that Turkey has recently ramped up claims to as Ankara has once again begun publicly questioning the sovereignty of the Treaty of Lausanne in what Turkey calls the so-called “grey zone” where the inlets rest in the Aegean sea.
Tensions between Greece and Turkey escalated in 1987 and in early 1996 over the inlets sovereignty when near military outbreaks almost occurred.
“For Greece, there are no grey areas in the Aegean; everything is cleared out in the international treaties and under these treaties we organize our strategy,” Alternate Defense Minister Dimitris Vitsas on Friday said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s (ANA) radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM. He added that the government and the competent ministry will comment on the statement of the Turkish Foreign ministry.
However, he pointed out that while talks on this issue are underway in Geneva, such announcements do not help.
Asked on the developments on the Cyprus issue, he said that a positive step has been taken. “I never believed that everything could be solved in the first meeting,” he stressed and reiterated that it is a European and international issue. Moreover, he claimed that there is no fourth memorandum.