Home ENGLISH ARTICLES Turkey Disputes Greece’s Sovereignty Over Aegean Marine Park

Turkey Disputes Greece’s Sovereignty Over Aegean Marine Park

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Turkey disputes Greece’s right to establish a m…
Turkey disputes Greece’s right to establish a m…

Turkey disputes Greece’s right to establish a marine park in the Aegean. Credit: PM Press Office

Turkey Disputes Greece’s Sovereignty Over Aegean Marine Park

On Tuesday Turkey contested the plan by Greece to establish a new marine park in the Aegean Sea saying that Athens does not have sovereignty over islands within the region.

“We recommend Greece not to involve the outstanding Aegean issues, and the issues regarding the status of some islands, islets and rocks whose sovereignty has not been ceded to Greece by the international treaties, within the frame of its own agenda,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

“We will not accept the fait accomplis that Greece may create on geographical features whose status is disputed,” it said.

“We would also like to advise third parties, including the EU, not to become a tool for Greece’s politically motivated attempts regarding environmental programs,” it said.

Greece responds to Turkey on Aegean marine park

Greece responded to the claims by accusing Turkey of “politicizing a purely environmental issue.”

“The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s announcement politicizes a purely environmental issue. The universal challenge of environmental protection should raise awareness among governments and not be used to create impressions,” the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes in its announcement.

It adds that “the Greek government will continue to unwaveringly support its sovereignty and sovereign rights country in the framework of foreign policy principles”.

Greece announced on Monday that it will launch two new marine parks in the Aegean and Ionian Seas to coincide with the Our Ocean Conference in Athens this week.

The first will span 11 groups of deserted islands and islets from west of the island of Milos to Nisyros, known as “the Greek Galapagos” due to their rich biodiversity. The second will encompass an area starting north of Kefalonia and ending at Kythera and Antikythera.

Environment and Energy Minister Theodoros Skylakakis told journalists that the two new national parks — one in the Ionian Sea for sea mammals and turtles, and another in the Aegean for seabirds, to be set into law by early next year.

Turkish challenge runs counter to “positive momentum” in relations

The challenge by Turkey on Greek sovereignty in the Aegean comes at a time when the two NATO allies reiterated their joint commitment to build on the existing positive momentum in their relationship.

After a long period of tensions marked by disputes over irregular migration, the Cyprus dispute, energy exploration, and territorial sovereignty in the Aegean, Turkey and Greece have been taking confidence-building steps for a fragile normalization of their relations.

This moved into a new chapter with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s landmark visit to Athens in December.

During the visit, the sides announced a friendship declaration, visa facilitation for Turkish citizens for ten Greek islands in the Northern Aegean for up to seven days, and the decreased flow of irregular migrants to Greece.

Mitsotakis and Erdogan signed a joint declaration pledging to maintain good and friendly neighborly relations.

SOURCE: https://greekreporter.com/2024/04/10/turkey-challenges-greece-sovereignty-aegean-marine-park/


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