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‘Greece Not Intimidated’ by Turkey’s Threats on Territorial Waters

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Greece is not terrorized by Turkey’s threats, Athens says. Credit: Hellenic Navy

Turkey has once again warned Greece that extending its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea was a red line.

“We will not allow the expansion of (Greek) territorial waters by even one mile in the Aegean, let alone 12,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told an end-of-year press briefing in Ankara on Thursday.

He was responding to reports that Athens plans to extend territorial waters around the island of Crete to twelve nautical miles. The newspaper Ta Nea reported last week that Athens is preparing the extension that will be announced sometime in March.

According to the report that is based on unnamed sources of the defense ministry, the relevant law is being worked on after instructions from the PM’s office.

Turkey on the extension of Greece’s territorial waters: “It won’t end well for you!”

Citing a Turkish parliamentary 1995 decision on the matter, Cavusoglu said, “We are warning Greece once more. Don’t pursue false heroism by trusting those who might have your back. Don’t seek adventurism. It won’t end well for you!”

The 1995 declaration authorizes action, including military measures, to safeguard Turkish interests if Greece increases its territorial waters in the Aegean beyond six nautical miles.

Cavusoglu said that the declaration “remains in force today.”

“Greece is not intimidated by Turkey’s threats”

“Greece is neither intimidated nor terrorized,” government spokesperson Yiannis Economou said responding to the threatening statements of Cavusoglu.

“The Greek government governs based solely on international law and national interests,” Economou said adding that:

The tactic of threats and provocations, which Türkiye follows, is an absolute impasse since Greece is neither intimidated nor terrorized. It would be useful for Turkish officials to think about the deadlock and not continue on the same path and in the new year.

Greece is firm in its position to extend its territorial waters to twelve nautical miles in the Aegean as is clearly indicated by international law and specifically by the UN’s Treaty on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Despite Turkey’s threats that the extension of Greek territorial waters is a cause for war, Athens has not budged from its longstanding position that the expansion of territorial waters to twelve nautical miles is an inalienable sovereign right.

Greece has refrained from doing so, insisting that it will choose the time when appropriate. Turkey has countered such a move with threats and says that, in effect, this would turn the Aegean into a Greek lake and so is a casus belli, a cause for war.

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