Türkiye is resolved to discuss and question the sovereignty of the islands if Greece does not end its violations, said Türkiye's FM Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Athens' lobbying against Türkiye's efforts to get F-16 fighter jets from the US is contrary to the solidarity of the NATO alliance, Cavusoglu added.
Athens' lobbying against Türkiye's efforts to get F-16 fighter jets from the US is contrary to the solidarity of the NATO alliance, Cavusoglu added. (AA)

Greece’s militarisation of islands in the eastern Aegean Sea is a violation of long-standing international treaties, and the continuation of this violation will bring up the islands’ sovereignty for discussion, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

"The sovereignty of the islands will be questioned if (Greece) does not end its violation", Cavusoglu told a news conference on Tuesday in the Turkish capital Ankara alongside his North Macedonian counterpart Bujar Osmani.

Noting that the actions of Greece came as no surprise, Cavusoglu said Athens and Ankara have "many differences". 

The foreign minister stressed that the Aegean islands were given to Greece as part of 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and 1947 Treaty of Paris on the condition that they were kept demilitarised.

Any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.

"This status of the islands has been violated by Greece", Cavusoglu stressed, urging Athens to abide by international law.

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'Demagogic rhetoric'

The foreign minister rebuffed Greece's "accusations and baseless allegations of expansionist policy" of Türkiye.

"Since they (Greece) cannot respond to our questions about the status of the islands, they opt for demagogic rhetoric", said Cavusoglu.

He also voiced hopes that Greece "comes around and acts in a principled matter."

Cavusoglu noted that the two countries' relations are eased "from time to time", citing a revival of "exploratory talks on issues that have long resisted solution."

Türkiye in recent months has stepped up criticism of Greece stationing troops on islands in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast and in many cases visible from shore.

Also decrying Athens’ lobbying against Türkiye’s efforts to get F-16 jets from the US, Cavusoglu said this move is against the solidarity of the NATO alliance, which both countries are members of.

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Source: AA