Erdogan’s ‘insidious’ plan is not aimed at energy but at the Greek islands

This post was published in Pentapostagma. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


ATHENS, (BM) – The Greek-Turkish conflict has aroused the interest of the international community and many analysts are looking for the real cause of the crisis caused, of course, not only by Erdogan, but by the entire political elite of the country.

According to expert analyst Leila Hamedani, “tensions will continue to rise between Turkey and Greece. It is a continuation of an ongoing controversy, allegations of historical atrocities and arguments, but not about energy rights.

If one were to superficially and quickly study the causes of this conflict, it would be easy to assume that it is simply a matter of energy reserves, but that is not the case. The two Mediterranean nations had, have and will have in the future, a dispute over islands, islets and more in the Aegean region.

Greece, under international law, legally owns hundreds of islands, which extend its territorial sovereignty near the coasts of Asia Minor, and this bothers the Turkish side.

Turkey claims that this is an incorrect interpretation of international law and that the rights of the 1947 Paris Treaty are being violated. In the mid-1990s, Greece and Turkey came very close to a war of attrition over two uninhabited islands off the west coast of Turkey.

In fact, according to Middle East security expert Emile Hokayem of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “Erdogan’s adventure in the Eastern Mediterranean probably has a different purpose than what everyone seems to see, and it concerns the Greek islands.”

Ankara has a plan to create instability throughout the region, threatening peace, to claim these islands, while clearly trying to expand its presence and influence throughout the region with military might, completely ignoring key European values ​​and internationally defined limits.

Tensions and hostilities between Greece and Turkey have escalated since last July when Erdogan decided to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

NATO has also focused on this issue, with some NATO allies supporting Turkey and others supporting Greece, creating a climate of division and destabilization within the alliance. Turkey’s aggression must be taken seriously because it is ideological and religious in nature.

At present, both Turkey and Greece are increasing their military presence, with Greece conducting naval exercises, while Turkish warships will “escort” the seismic vessel Oruts Reyes, which is preparing to re-emerge for field research. rich in gas.

Turkey has reached the highest level of its claims by revealing to everyone what plans it has been preparing for many years. Only the end of these dreams will be painful because they are involved with other huge economic and geopolitical interests, which concern superpowers that will not allow anyone to threaten them.

The oil conflict between Turkey and Greece and their long-standing relationship

In 2020, tensions between the already long-disputed countries in the Balkans – Greece and Turkey – will escalate sharply again. The reason for this is oil fields located in specific eastern parts of the Mediterranean, which give rise to a territorial dispute between the two Balkan countries.

All this, as expected, not only led to an escalation of political speeches and attacks between Greece and Turkey, but brought the Balkans closer to a possible new war after Athens and Ankara launched a series of military exercises in the region.

At the same time, Germany is trying to play the role of a peacemaker between the Balkan countries, while France has directly decided to support Greece in its conflict with the Turks.

The mission ended with virtually no results. Then France came out on the side of Greece, sending its frigate and helicopter carrier to the Aegean Sea for joint maneuvers with the Greeks.

Note that Turkey and Greece have been at enmity for centuries. It was during the fall of Byzantium, and during the Ottoman Empire, and continues to this day. The last time these countries fought each other in 1974 in Cyprus. Turkey occupied the island after a military coup on it. After the discovery of a significant hydrocarbon reserve off the coast of Cyprus, sovereignty disputes continued.

Countries cannot share maritime economic zones. This is a Greek island located near the southern Turkish city of Antalya. Greece believes that part of this area belongs to the so-called Kastelorizo ​​continental shelf. Turkey disputes this, claiming that the island is too small and too far from mainland Greece to make such a claim.

However, this raises new problems as it turns out that the disputed body of water separating Greece and Turkey is the apple of discord and the dispute between them. According to the Turks, the country’s continental shelf should and should be eroded from the mainland and that the territory south of the Greek island is only a few kilometers from the southern coast of Turkey. This is the logic they follow in Ankara and believe that it belongs to its exclusive zone

At the same time, Athens argues and believes that the borders of a country should be determined on the basis of the islands that surround it, and they are an integral part of defining the borders of the continental shelf. Greece makes these claims in its UN maritime law. All this gives the Greeks the exclusive right to the territory, no matter how close it is to the Turkish border. However, there is one very important fact that the Turks are using at the moment, namely that Ankara has not signed the UN law on the law of the sea, which allows it to interpret the situation differently.


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