Ankara has called once again for the demilitarization of the Aegean islands, just a few days before the scheduled resumption of exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey, this time through a statement issued following a session of Turkey’s National Security Council Thursday.
The council, which convened for four hours under the chairmanship of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that Turkey “encourages countries that act in ways that violate international law, particularly as regards the demilitarization of islands, to act with common sense.” “We will make no compromise and no concession as regards the rights of the Turkish nation on land, sea and air,” it said.
The statement reiterated Ankara’s claim according to which “small islands” are being used by Greece, with the support of France, to attempt to hem in Turkey along its coastline. As usual, the island of Kastellorizo, which has been the focus of Turkey’s aggressive maneuvers in the Eastern Mediterranean, was not explicitly named.
The council called on the European Union and other bodies to respect the rights of Turkey as well as the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. “Turkey is always in favor of dialogue on every platform for fair sharing of natural resources in the region,” the statement added.
Ankara’s “attitude and actions” in the Eastern Mediterranean are in line with its commitment to “rightness, fairness and justice” on every regional and global dispute, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported the council as saying.