Athens on Thursday reacted to remarks by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier in the day in which he reiterated his country’s claims regarding “grey zones” of undetermined sovereignty in the Aegean Sea.
In a statement, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that “the legal status of the Aegean and of [the Aegean] islands is clearly determined by international treaties and there is no room for dispute.”
It said that Turkey’s interpretation of the UN Law of the Sea is “unfounded” and “illegal.”
“Greece has chosen the path of international legality,” the ministry said, as it urged Ankara to follow the same path.
In a televised interview on CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said “there are islands whose sovereignty has not been established” either in the Treaty of Lausanne or in the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.
This is the reason, he said, that Ankara is calling for “exploratory talks to resolve these issues” and to avoid a repetition of a crisis like the one over the islets of Imia (known in Turkish as Kardak).
Cavusoglu was referring to the 1996 incident when the two NATO allies came to the brink of war over the ownership of the uninhabited islets.