Turkey provoked Greece yet again by calling on Monday for a renegotiation of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which set out the modern borders between the two countries.
The Turkish demand, which was nixed by Greece on Tuesday, was made in the context of exploratory contacts between Ankara and Athens which could start early next year.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez included the issue of changing the Lausanne Treaty, again, as one of the bilateral issues to be addressed.
“With the First World War and the wars that followed, there were some conditions that are not clear and perhaps these laid the foundations of today’s discussions.
“One of them is Lausanne. But 100 years have passed; I believe that we can sit down to discuss them, to negotiate,” he stated on Monday.
Asked to comment on Donmez’s move, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that “there is a framework, it is clear and it is that of exploratory contacts.”
“We have one difference which is the delimitation of the sea zones. We hope that Turkey will stop the provocative actions and provocative statements and catch the thread from where it was cut in March 2016,” he said.
Petsas added that resolving this sole difference will be not only “for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries but also of for the peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean.
“This is what we are prepared to do. Nothing else,” he added.
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty negotiated during the Lausanne Conference of 1922–23 and signed in on July 24, 1923.
It officially settled the conflict that had originally existed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied French Republic, British Empire, Kingdom of Italy, Empire of Japan, Kingdom of Greece, and the Kingdom of Romania since the onset of World War I.
In the treaty, Turkey gave up all claims to the remainder of the Ottoman Empire and in return the Allies recognized Turkish sovereignty within its new borders.
It provided for the Greek-Turkish population exchange and allowed unrestricted civilian passage through the Turkish Straits.
The treaty was ratified by Turkey on August 23, 1923.