Former Secretary of the Turkish MoD: “Greece occupies our islands, like Armenia occupies Nagorno-Karabakh”

7 October 2020
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“Just as Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh militarily, so did Greece occupy our 17 islands in the Aegean Sea,” former Secretary-General of the Turkish Ministry of Defense and retired officer Umit Yalim said provocatively during a speech at a conference in Constantinople.

Linking the fierce clashes between Azeris and Armenians with the Greek-Turkish crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, the former Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense spoke again about 17 “Turkish” islands in the Aegean Sea that were “occupied” militarily by Greece after 2004.
“Yes, we wholeheartedly support Azerbaijan. We let Armenia occupy Nagorno-Karabakh, but Greece has occupied parts of our country since 2004. Why don’t you talk about that? And these are parts of our homeland”, he said provocatively, accusing the Turkish government of “losing thousands of kilometers of land” because of its choices.
Yalim accused the absence of a Turkish reaction to the Greek “provocations”, as he characterized the recent visits of the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou to Agathonisi and Lipsi.

“During the AKP government, 17 Aegean islands passed into Greece. There are Greek authorities on these islands. There is now a permanent Greek presence on our 17 islands and on a rocky islet on the border of Izmir, Aydin and Mugla” Yalim said, asking Interior Minister Suleiman Soilou to appoint a “commander” of the 17 islands that Greece has “occupied”.

Yalim was essentially the one who started writing articles about the alleged occupation of 152 islands, islets and islets in the Aegean Sea, which today seems to be fully adopted by the Turkish government, in the context of questioning the Greek sovereignty.

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