Letter signed by Turkish foreign minister sent to 25 capitals of EU, EU foreign policy chief, NATO and UN chiefs
Amid repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, Türkiye made a diplomatic move on Sept. 1 by sending a letter addressing possible solutions to disputes in the Aegean Sea, diplomatic sources said.
According to the sources, the letter signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu were sent to 25 capitals in the European Union, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Explaining Türkiye’s position and views on the solution of Aegean problems, the letters also drew attention to the unlawful actions and maximalist demands of Greece.
Emphasizing that there are a number of closely related and interrelated problems in the Aegean Sea, such as the width of territorial waters and national airspace, the limitation of the continental shelf and territorial waters, the letter also noted the violation of the non-military status of the Eastern Aegean Islands, according to the sources.
Moreover, the letter stressed that there are islands, islets and rocks and service areas, such as search and rescue region (SRR), flight information region (FIR) and NAVTEX, whose sovereignty has not been transferred to Greece via valid international agreements.
It also emphasized that Greece claims to have 10-nautical miles of airspace despite the width of the territorial waters in the Aegean being 6-nautical miles. The letter underlined that Greece is the only country in the world which has non-overlapping territorial waters and airspace borders that are not recognized by any other country.
Furthermore, Türkiye expressed the belief that issues in the Aegean can be resolved within the framework of international law with mutual recognition of the fundamental rights and legitimate interests of the two countries.
According to the sources, the letter affirmed that Ankara is pro-dialogue and cooperation despite Athens avoiding dialogue and escalating tensions while including the EU as part of Aegean problems.
According to the Turkish National Defense Ministry sources, Greece violated Türkiye’s airspace and territorial waters over 1,100 times in the first eight months of 2022 alone.
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under treaty, saying that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.