Cavusoglu accuses Greece of ‘unlawful actions’ in letter to EU capitals

Cavusoglu accuses Greece of ‘unlawful actions’ in letter to EU capitals

Turkey’s foreign minister has written to all EU capitals accusing Greece of engaging in “unlawful actions” and making “maximalist demands” in the Aegean, according to the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

The September 1 letter from Mevlut Cavusoglu was also sent to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, permanent members of the UN Security Council, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Anadolu said.

According to unnamed sources, in the letter Cavusoglu claims there are problems in the Aegean Sea, such as the width of territorial waters and national airspace, the limitation of the continental shelf and territorial waters.

The letter also notes the “violation of the non-military status of the Eastern Aegean Islands,” according to Anadolu.

The agency said “the letter stressed that there are islands, islets and rocks and service areas, such as search and rescue region (SRR), flight information region (FIR) and NAVTEX, whose sovereignty has not been transferred to Greece via valid international agreements.”

It also said “Greece claims to have 10-nautical miles of airspace despite the width of the territorial waters in the Aegean being 6-nautical miles.”

“Greece is the only country in the world which has non-overlapping territorial waters and airspace borders that are not recognized by any other country,” the report said.

The sources told Anadolu that the letter describes Ankara as pro-dialogue and Athens as “avoiding dialogue and escalating tensions.”

A number of EU countries have expressed support for Greece in light of the steam of statements from Turkey questioning Greek sovereignty.

On Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Paris will continue to be “supportive” when it comes to attacks on Greek sovereignty, saying this is something that “will not change.”

On Monday, Brussels voiced concern over what it called “hostile remarks” after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Greece of occupying demilitarized islands in the Aegean and said Turkey was ready to “do what is necessary” when the time came. [Anadolu, Ekathimerini]


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