March 25, 2021
Honorable Sir: Hulusi Akar,
Minister of National Defense of the Turkish Republic
Written notice also to:
Honorable Mr. Nikos Panagiotopoulos,
Minister of National Defense of the Hellenic Republic
Honorable Mr. Charalambos Petridis,
Minister of Defense of the Republic of Cyprus
Honorable Mr. Nikolaos Dendias,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic
Honorable Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus
Since you have taken office, you have been the habit of constantly lecturing Greece with a multitude of “accusations” which, in fact, are accusations that concern only Turkey and not Greece at all. Here is why:
You are constantly wondering why, and against whom the Greek islands of the Aegean are being militarily armed.
Have you ever wondered why and against whom you created the huge “Army of the Aegean”directly across from the Greek islands of the Aegean since 1974? Could it be that you threaten Greece with your statements on a daily basis in order to gather an army on the coast of Asia Minor with a constant barrage of military exercises and you deny Greece even its use of the self-evident right of self-defense provided by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter?
All that you claim to be Turkey’s rights and interests in the maritime zones constitute only unilateral and arbitrary claims. They are not based on international law. They are projected solely on the basis of its military strength, which has been achieved in violation of Turkey’s international obligations and to the detriment of the Turkish people, who have ended up famished because of them.
How is it possible to call on Greece to “abandon its expansionist logic as soon as possible” and declare that you “have no aspirations for the rights and the lands of anyone”?
Did Greece invade Cyprus or did Turkey, which, although (supposedly) the guarantor of the Republic of Cyprus, has dismembered it with a military invasion, condemned by the United Nations, which it even wants to “legitimize” with two states?
Did Greece invade the territory of the Arab Republic of Syria or did Turkey invade with three consecutive military invasions and the establishment of bases and outposts in foreign territories again in gross violation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne?
Is Greece constantly invading the territories of the Republic of Iraq or is it Turkey, whenever it wishes, disregarding any notion of respect for the borders of a foreign state, once again violating the Treaty of Lausanne?
Has Greece invaded the territories of war-torn Libya or has Turkey done so under the pretext of the signatures of some appointed officials who have absolutely no popular legitimacy?
Was Greece involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh war or was Turkey, even triumphantly declaring the “victory” of the Azeris?
So then how do you call on Greece to “abandon its expansionistic logic as soon as possible”, when you yourself and Turkey prove with concrete actions that you are inspired by this very expansionistic logic?
Do you not personally “recommend” that Greece remain silent so as not to «become a meze» (September 2020), recalling Benito Mussolini who said to Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano that “Hitler will learn from the newspapers that I occupied Greece” (October 1940), but ended up hanging upside down in Milan’s main square in April 1945?
Why are the military exercises of Greece “being done with the aim of provocation” and your own military exercises with 87 ships, 27 aircraft, 12 helicopters, F-16, F-4, etc. (March 2021) not perceived “for the purpose of provocation”? How do you perceive the difference that no one else understands?
Why do you suppose that “Greece’s claims on the continental shelf violate international law” when Turkey just recently in January 2021 was the only country in the world that in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly, voted against the decision on the oceans and the Law of the Sea which was adopted almost unanimously? Do you still believe that you are right and 156 countries in the world are wrong?
Why is it that you refer to the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 and the Treaty of Paris of 1947 whenever you wish? Do you not realize that in the first treaty you did not respect any of your obligations (such as Article 14 of the Treaty of Lausanne for the islands of Imbros and Tenedos, Articles 37, 38, 39, etc.) and in the second, you had no participation because of the neutrality you maintained in World War II, in contrast to Greece, which sacrificed itself for democracy and freedom by sacrificing 715,000 innocent civilians and 88,000 soldiers?
Is it not the Treaty of Lausanne itself that determined the extent of Turkey in the Aegean at 3 nautical miles from its shores? The issue of the Greek islands, islets and rocky-islets of the Aegean has been definitively and irrevocably regulated by the Treaties of Lausanne of 1923 and Paris of 1947, so for decades the whole matter was considered closed until it was arbitrarily and unilaterally “disputed” by Turkey.
Why do you insist on forgetting that the Greek island of Kastellorizo is not a distant possession of Greece but a part of the Dodecanese that has always remained Greek despite all the various conquerors who came and left? Kastellorizo is Greece since Greece is a country of islands, and its distance from Athens is less than the distance of Ankara from Mardin.
So why do you insist that the Greek island of Kastellorizo cannot have an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and that “All these allegations are a violation of international law and are not in line with logic”?
Why do you fail to recall that according to international law, the EEZ of the United Kingdom is the fifth largest in the world at around 7 million square kilometers reaching all of Britain’s overseas territories which are tens of thousands of kilometers from England?
Why are you unable to recollect that the French EEZ is even larger since it takes into account, according to international law (also calculated in the EEZ of the European Union), all the overseas possessions of France (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, French Guiana in South America etc.) – all these islands are “light years” away from France and obviously not only 580 kms away as Kastellorizo is from the Greek mainland. But the French possessions all have EEZs, according to International Law!
Have you ever wondered whether all the efforts of the modern Turkish Republic to brutally create a new Ottoman Empire in the twenty-first century constitute completely irrational and unrealistic goals that dangerously threaten peace and stability within Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and other parts of the world?
Have you ever wondered if violating human rights both abroad and within your country with for example, many years of extra judicial imprisonment, banishment of a political party, dismissal of elected mayors and the provocation of violence against women by your country’s rejection of the Constantinople Convention (2011) will generate a very heavy price to be eventually paid by the whole of Turkey?
We wish and hope that you take into account all these concerns that contribute to the preservation and salvation of the peaceful coexistence of the peoples in our wider region.
The President The Vice President Capt. Evangelos Rigos Prof. Nina Gatzouli
Translated by Prof. Eleni Phufas