In an interview with EUACTIVE.com, Andreas Papastavrou said the Turkish government’s rhetoric did not conform with UN principles, international law or “the values upon which the EU is founded”.
Turkey remains a candidate country for EU membership but concerns about its democratic credentials plus ongoing tensions with Greece have seen calls for its accession talks to be suspended.
Papastavrou also insisted sovereignty of the Imia islets in the Aegean rested with Greece, saying: “When it comes to sovereignty, there is no doubt. There are solid ‘titles of deeds’, the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, the Treaty of Paris in 1947 and the agreements of 1932 between Italy and Turkey.
“The aforementioned Peace Treaties encompass accurately the lessons learnt from two World Wars and consolidate peace.”
Regarding the two Greek soldiers being held in Turkish custody Papastravrou said: “With regard to the two Greek officers, we should bear in mind that in the past such incidents were routinely and swiftly resolved, using standard expeditious procedures.
“It seems, therefore, extremely unfortunate that the Greek officers were arrested at a moment when the situation with the rule of law in Turkey is being heavily criticized.”
“Greece will continue striving for the release of the two Greek officers and hopes that Turkey will prove Cassandra wrong, abide by international law and practice and, after all, act as a friend and ally is expected to do,” he added.