Reporting on Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou’s recent visit to the Greek Island of Kastellorizo on the 77th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazis, CNN published an article with the headline: “Greek President Provokes Turkey by Visiting Tiny Island at Center of Eastern Mediterranean Dispute.”
Social media platforms, especially Twitter, exploded with shocked responses from readers. They found it unbelievable that the president of a country visiting that country’s own territory could be labelled a provocation, rather than a natural part of her duties.
After thousands raised their voices in an outcry regarding the misleading title, CNN altered the article’s headline to read: “Greek President Visits Tiny Island at Center of Eastern Mediterranean Dispute, angering Turkey.”
Kastellorizo has been at the center of contentious dialogue between Turkey and Greece regarding Turkey’s recent research missions for energy sources in Greek waters. Over the past month and a half, Turkish research vessels, accompanied by warships, have encroached on Greece’s sea borders.
Turkey argues that some Greek islands, which are physically closer to Turkey than to Athens, should be part of Turkey, despite the fact that they are Greek islands with Greek inhabitants.
Turkish officials have even openly suggested occupying Greek islands, such as Kastellorizo.
Issues of territory are at the heart of the long-simmering dispute over Greece’s and Turkey’s sea borders. As Greece’s islands encompass much of the eastern Mediterranean Sea near the two countries, Greece has control over the surrounding sea territory, a fact which Turkish leaders consider unfair.