In the Eastern Mediterranean, tensions are increasing between Greece and Turkey.
Greeks have landed on the island of Kastelorizo, 2 km from the coast of Turkey in the disputed areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greek soldiers arrived to Kastelorizo island on the same ferry as tourists. Officially, Turkey recognized it as Greek territory, but now the rhetoric has changed to "contested", which is displeasing #Greece. pic.twitter.com/OVl9mefxZe
— www.anoncandanga.com (@anon_candanga) August 29, 2020
According to the Turkish press, the French agency AFP told about the landing of a group of Greek soldiers on the island of Kastelorizo (the island is located at a distance of 2 km from Turkey). However! The disembarkation was carried out on tourist steamers. Apparently, because according to the agreement with Turkey, representatives of the armed forces should not be present on some islands.
Although Turkey is often said that Greece has armed 16 of the 23 islands that don’t have military status, thus violating international agreements.
“The Lausanne Peace Treaty (1923) and the Paris Peace Treaty (1947) guarantee the disarmament of the islands,” they say in Turkey. Kastelorizo is one of these islands. To which, judging by the photographs of AFP (I could not find the original, but I met mentions about it from Turkish and Greek journalists), Athens sent a military contingent. And on steamers, apparently, so that it does not look so aggressive, but the photos were distributed …
According to agreements with Turkey in the 1990s, the island should be a demilitarized zone. The landing of Greek troops can be perceived by the Turks as a challenge and provocation.
Meanwhile, after an extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU member states, at which they agreed on sanctions against Turkey, but so far they decided not to introduce them until the end of September, the situation has worsened.
Official Ankara rejected the results of the summit and stated that the EU doesn’t intend to fulfill the ultimatum.
In addition, threatening statements against Greece were made in Turkey today. Vice President Fuat Oktay hinted that Athens’ unilateral decision to increase its continental shelf from 6 to 12 miles in the Ionian Sea is regarded as a pretext for war.
In parallel, the Greeks are preparing to sign another treaty on the delimitation of maritime borders with Cyprus. They previously signed such agreements with Egypt and Italy, which provoked an angry reaction from Turkey, which has such an agreement with Libya.
France also joined the game. Emmanuel Macron recently announced that he drew “red lines” in the Eastern Mediterranean and is ready to use force if Turkey crosses them. It is a bluff to the public or a real threat of the use of military force – it is not clear, but the situation is tense to the limit.