The Greek foreign ministry issued a statement on Thursday in the wake of yet another challenge to the country’s sovereignty by a top Turkish government official, as increasingly nationalist language has resurfaced in Ankara over the recent period.
The ministry emphasized that Greece’s sovereignty over specific islands and islets in the Aegean — including the two rocky outcrops known as Imia — is indisputable and enshrined in international law.
The two islets, which official Turkey calls “Kardak”, sparked a conflict in the Aegean between the two neighbors and NATO members in January 1996.
The ministry in Athens referred to provocations by Ankara in the face of a clear and defined legal regime for the Aegean islands, based on a series of international treaties dating from the early 20th century.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was the latest Turkish official to make irredentist statements, replying in writing in writing to a tabled question in Turkey’s assembly by saying government considers the islets as Turkish territory.
“There is no change in our policy regarding Kardak. Kardak is Turkish land”, he wrote.