Greece’s militarization of islands in the eastern Aegean Sea is a violation of longstanding international treaties, and the continuation of this violation calls the islands’ sovereignty into question, Türkiye’s top diplomat said Tuesday.
"The sovereignty of the islands will be questioned if (Greece) does not end its violation," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference in the Turkish capital Ankara alongside his North Macedonian counterpart Bujar Osmani.
Türkiye is resolved to discuss and question the sovereignty of those islands if Greece does not end its violations, Cavusoglu said.
Also decrying Athens’ lobbying against Türkiye’s efforts to get F-16 jets from the US, Cavusoglu said this move is against the solidarity of the NATO alliance, which both countries are members of.
Türkiye in recent months has stepped up criticism of Greece stationing troops on islands in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast and in many cases visible from shore.
These islands were required to be demilitarized under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.