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29 Dec, 2022 11:51

Türkiye warns Greece against expansion in Aegean Sea

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu cautioned Athens that Ankara will use “all powers” to defend its interests
Türkiye warns Greece against expansion in Aegean Sea

Türkiye will not give Greece a single mile of territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, warning that Ankara will use all means at its disposal to protect its interests. 

“We will not allow the expansion of [Greek] territorial waters by even one mile in the Aegean, let alone 12,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu Agency. His comments came in response to reports that Athens plans to extend its territorial waters around the island of Crete to 12 nautical miles.

Cavusoglu recalled a 1995 Turkish parliamentary decision that states that if Greece increases its territorial waters in the Aegean beyond six miles, the parliament would provide the government with “all powers,” including military ones, in order to defend Türkiye’s national interests.

The minister went on to warn Greece not to “get into sham heroism by trusting those who might have your back.”

“Don’t seek adventurism. It won’t end well for you!” Cavusoglu warned.

Last week, the Greek government announced that it plans to extend its territorial waters to the south and west of Crete in March, citing favorable international and regional developments, according to the online news outlet In.Gr, which cited sources from the presidential administration. 

The move puts further strain on the already fraught relations between Ankara and Athens. Back in May, Erdogan officially cut ties with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and closed all other communication channels between the countries. 

Although the two nations are NATO partners, they have a long history of rivalry and are entwined in a number of ongoing disputes, including over control of several Aegean islands, as well as about drilling rights in the Mediterranean, and the status of Cyprus.