Turkey has condemned “illegitimate attempts” by Greece to change the status of Kastellorizo following news footage in the Turkish media allgedly showing Greek soldiers disembarking from a ferry on the southeastern Aegean island on Friday.
Asked about reports of an alleged Greek military build-up on Kastellorizo, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Sunday that the island has had a demilitarized status established since the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.
“If true, these media reports are a novel manifestation of the law-disrespecting actions of Greece and her true intentions regarding the Eastern Mediterranean,” Aksoy said.
“We reject the illegitimate attempts of changes on the status of the island,” Aksoy said, adding that Turkey “will not allow… such a provocation immediately across her coasts.”
“Such provocative actions will prove useless for Greece. Should Greece continue to take tension-increasing steps in the region, she will be the one suffering from it,” Aksoy said.
“Turkey is determined indefinitely to defend her rights and interests stemming from international law,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction from the Greek government.
However, Bloomberg on Monday quoted a source close to the government saying that the soldiers were already stationed on the island, adding that the event was a routine troop rotation.