Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar accused Greece on Thursday of violating the Treaty of Lausanne by keeping troops on the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea.
Speaking with the opposition Sozcu newspaper, Akar said that ”We do not threaten Greece but we are not weak in our defense. Greece must comply with the treaties.”
”At a time when our neighboring country is talking about international law and accusing us of non-existent harassment, it is violating the Treaty of Lausanne,” Akar declared.
The Turkish official also charged that Athens has been militarizing its islands since 1936, despite 1923’s Treaty of Lausanne and 1947’s Treaty of Paris.
Greece has continued to justify the presence of military on its islands as a purely defensive necessity, since Turkey has repeatedly shown aggressive behavior against Greece in the Aegean.
Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos had stated in January of this year that ”What is threatened is not demilitarized.”
The Treaty of Lausanne shaped the current Greco-Turkish border and officially settled the conflict that had originally broken out between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied forces of France, Britain, Italy, Greece, and Romania at the onset of World War I.