Turk-Greek territorial dispute

Written by The Frontier Post

Turkish Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar has said that Ankara will not allow the formation of a status quo in the region that infringes on the interests of Turkey, and the EU has started to recognize the facts of violations of international humanitarian law by Greece. Turkish Defense Chief was commenting on the recent incident of illegal border crossing by the migrants on the Turk-Greek common border in the Mediterranean. According to him, the global community has ignored the illegal actions of the Greek security forces against migrants and refugees, while the Turkish Navy saves the lives of migrants by not leaving them to perish in the middle of the sea. He claimed that Turkey’s position is based on the norms of international law and that Ankara is ready to resolve problems through peaceful means.

Turkey and Greece, both are European nations and NATO member states besides having a common territorial border in the Mediterranean Sea, which had been a reason for their contentious bilateral relations over the past decades. Historically, Turk-Greek bilateral relations remained strained due to the issue of illegal migrations between the two nations along with territorial disputes on the Aegean Islands and Cyprus. Both countries claim their sovereignty over the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the Aegean Sea, full of oil and gas reserves, and carry huge financial prospects for both nations.

There had been a massive military mobilization of both countries in mid-2020 after Turkey conducted a seismic exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which Greece considers its exclusive economic zone. The border clashes between the security forces of both countries are common on the issue of illegal border crossing by migrants. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had met in Istanbul and agreed to resolve their issues through bilateral dialogue and also signed a multi-billion trade deal between their counties. There are enormous scopes of bilateral cooperation between the two nations, hence the jingoists must demonstrate patience and give a chance to diplomacy to make its way for the realization of peace, and shared prosperity for both nations.

About the author

The Frontier Post