A Turkish statement about Greece adopting EU environmental laws on Imia has drawn a stern rebuke from Athens.
Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hit out at Greece for extending the Natura 2000 environmental protection programme to the Aegean islets, claiming Imia’s sovereignty “is not ceded to Greece by international agreements”.
It added: “We take this opportunity to call upon that there is no doubt about the sovereignty of Turkey over the Kardak [Imia] rocks.
“Moreover, we will not accept any possible fait accompli to be presented by Greece towards the geographical formations in the Aegean Sea, the legal status of which is disputed.
“Lastly, we would like to reiterate that the Greek Law no. 4519 will not bear any legal effect regarding the disputes existing between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean Sea.”
However, the Greek Foreign Ministry responded by saying:
“The legal status of Imia is firmly established. Greek sovereignty over Imia is a given and beyond doubt.
“Turkey is mistaken if it thinks it can violate international law in the Aegean without consequences, as it does in other places in its environs.
“We would advise Turkey to measure its words.”