Türkiye warns Greece of extending territorial waters to over 6 miles


Türkiye has warned Greece once again that it will never accept extending its territorial waters to more than 6 miles in the Aegean Sea amid reports that Athens is beginning to mull over increasing its sovereign waters to up to 12 miles off Crete island in the region.

“We will not accept more than 6 miles,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on a visit to Navy Headquarters in Marmara province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district over the weekend. He also visited the Submarine Fleet Command in the same area accompanied by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Musa Avsever, Naval Forces Commander Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu and Air Force Commander Gen. Atilla Gülan.

Akar vowed that Türkiye will not accept even an increase by one mile of the Greek territorial waters in the Aegean following reports by the Greek media that the Greek government is planning to increase its territorial waters to 12 miles in line with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Türkiye is not a party to the convention and stresses that an expansion of Greek territorial waters to more than 6 miles will restrict its use of the Aegean Sea.

Türkiye and Greece are at odds over a number of differences in the Aegean Sea, including territorial waters, airspace and other disputed matters. Ankara also accuses Athens of continued violation of 1923 and 1947 treaties that stipulate demilitarized status to the Greek islands in proximity to the Turkish mainland.

Akar emphasized the importance of dialogue and peaceful methods for resolving these problems with Greece. Recalling that Greece rejects to take part in bilateral mechanisms to solve these problems and to create new confidence-building measures, the minister said the Greek officials continue to slander Türkiye with false and baseless allegations.

Reminding that Greece’s invasion attempt of Anatolia in 1919 was foiled by Türkiye’s Independence War, Akar said: “We tell them to learn from history, do not get into trouble, do not enter into new adventures.”

“We will not allow any fait accompli and we will not let anybody violate our rights. We will do all these without being caught up in Greece’s provocations. We are determined in this regard,” he noted.

Akar also criticized the statements of some Greek officials who claim that Türkiye is a threat to Greece. “We, as Türkiye, did not threaten anyone. We never threatened Greece. Türkiye is a strong, reliable and effective ally [at NATO]: Strong Türkiye, strong Turkish Armed Forces, strong NATO, and strong alliance. We want everyone to know that.”__Daily Hurriyet