Istanbul (agency). The past several days have seen rhetorical exchanges between Greece and Turkey. This is because Greek soldiers opened fire on a Turkish cargo ship. Turkey is enraged over this. Not only has this shooting sparked tension and contention, but also a conflict between Turkey and Greece over the Aegean Sea. Greece allegedly intends to annex the demilitarised Iceland that is present there, according to Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, even asserted that when the moment is right, Turkey will respond appropriately. Turkey is fully equipped for this. At the same time, the Greek Prime Minister criticised President Erdogan for his words and claimed they increased tension. The Aegean Sea is being questioned by Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who claims that Turkey’s declaration is inadmissible in all circumstances. Additionally, he claimed that Turkey poses a direct threat. This island has been made non-militarized. This declaration was made in front of the Turkish parliament. In the House, he was questioned over Turkey’s assertion.
Greece ready for talks
After Greece opened fire on a Turkish cargo ship, Turkey has since demonstrated a firm stance. Turkey has attributed this to Greece’s Coast Guard. Turkish officials have claimed that their ship was in international seas. As a result, firing on him is a flagrant infraction of international law. Greece has stated that it is prepared to discuss this matter whenever and wherever it is, in response to Turkey’s comments. The prime minister of Greece claims that while he is unafraid of threats, he would rather use discussion to resolve the conflict.
The area is infamous for smuggling migrants
This incident occurred in a notorious region for migrant smuggling. Migrants are illegally sent along this route to Italy and other EU member states. Greece therefore looks into suspicious ships in the region. When similar occurrences had occurred between these two nations in the past, France had facilitated their reconciliation. In addition to this, there are other additional disagreements between Turkey and Greece, which frequently cause tension between the two. These are unique in terms of their seas’ size, ownership of nearby islands, etc. These two also penned a deal in 1947 on the contentious islands. Both parties, however, continue to accuse one another of rejecting this deal.
Both the countries have come face to face on many issues.
Due to the fact that both Turkey and Greece are NATO members, this issue between them has taken on a special significance. According to Greece, a Turkish cargo ship was attempting to enter Greek seas without authorization. Greece claims that the Coast Guard’s main purpose in firing was to warn the cargo ship. When Greece fired air defence missiles at Turkish fighter jets in the past, the already-present hostility between these two nations grew. These two have experienced similar occurrences in the past.
The complete history of the conflict between Turkey and Greece, why the two NATO allies are perplexed, and what caused it
Istanbul: On Sunday, the Greek Coast Guard fired on a Turkish cargo ship. This Turkish cargo ship allegedly attempted to enter Greek seas illegally, according to Greece. Turkey has also released a statement claiming that its cargo ship was in the Aegean Sea’s international waters at the time of the shooting. The hostility between the two nations has peaked as a result of this most recent development. Greece launched air defence missiles at Turkish fighter planes a few days ago. A Greek fighter jet participating in the NATO mission had forcibly evacuated Turkish fighters a few days prior. Turkey and Greece, however, each have a different perspective on these two developments.
Separate claims of Turkey and Greece
No one was hurt during Saturday’s gunfire that occurred 20 kilometres (11 nautical miles) southwest of Turkey’s Bojkada island, according to a statement from the Turkish Coast Guard. It claimed that Turkey sent its own patrol ships after two Greek ships opened fire. The Greek boats then returned to their designated maritime area. The Greek Coast Guard has stated that it fired warning shots at a ship suspiciously advancing towards Greek national seas off the island of Lesbos. Greece said that the cargo ship’s skipper had refused to let an examination take place. The ship was then hurled back into Turkish waters. The event has been reported to the Turkish authorities.
This area is infamous for smuggling migrants
The region is well known for its migrant trafficking. This route is used by migrants from Turkey to enter EU nations like Greece and Italy. The Greek Coast Guard often looks into questionable ships in similar circumstances. The maritime boundary has been the subject of disputes between the two nations for many years. Such events have occurred often over the past two years, which has led to the peaking of tension between Turkey and Greece. However, because of the defence between France and other nations, there have been significant skirmishes.
What is the cause of the conflict between Greece and Turkey?
In the eastern Mediterranean Sea lie the Aegean Islands. Greece asserts that it is the legitimate owner of the region, while Turkey asserts that it has rights over its islands. NATO counts both nations as allies. War between them remains a possibility despite this. Turkey asserts a universal right to these islands. Former Turkish ambassador to Greece and Austria Hassan Gogas told Al Jazeera that there are a number of issues in the Aegean Sea where Greece and us have disagreements, including the size of territorial seas, the boundaries of islands, the demilitarisation of islands, and the size of the airspace. These problems are all related to one another. Greece merely contests Turkey’s claim to control the islands.
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Turkey’s claim – Greece is violating the treaty
According to Gogus, the majority of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, including Kos and Castellorijo, are not far from the Turkish mainland. Under the terms of the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, Greece received those islands in exchange for their demilitarisation. Greece, however, disobeys this rule. In the meantime, according to the Greek perspective, Turkey is asserting things that neither the current situation nor international law justify.
These islands are very important strategically
Because so many Greeks reside on the numerous islands in the Aegean Sea, Sotirios Jartaloudis, associate professor of comparative European politics at the University of Birmingham, told Al Jazeera that Greece views the sea as an integral part of its territory. Due to its location at the intersection of the Black Sea, the Middle East, and the southern frontier of Europe, the Aegean Sea is also crucial to Greece’s geopolitical and strategic interests.
Between the two nations, three treaties have been signed.
Regarding the separation of these islands, the two nations have signed the Lausanne (1923), Montreux (1936), and Paris (1947) accords. Among these, agreements made in Lausanne and Paris regulate which nation owns which island. The Treaty of Lausanne was meant to be partially replaced by the Treaty of Montreux. A complex scenario involving sovereign rights in the Eastern Aegean is brought about by Ankara’s interpretation, according to Dimitris Papadimitriou, professor of politics at the University of Manchester.
Greece’s patience broke, Turkish ship attacked, set on fire, another world war broke out in Europe?
On September 11, Ankara: The effects of the conflict are already being felt around the globe, and the eastern Mediterranean is already experiencing a fresh crisis. Greece and Turkey are publicly threatening one other as a result of the escalating tensions between them. In the meantime, a cargo ship in the Aegean Sea was set on fire by Greek Coast Guard vessels. The ship was crossing the international border, according to the Turkish coast guard.
Firing near Bojcada Island
According to a statement from the Turkish Coast Guard, two Greek Coast Guard vessels opened fire on a cargo ship on Saturday 11 nautical miles southwest of the Turkish island of Bojkada. There have been no reported casualties during this time, either. On Sunday, calls to the Greek embassy in Ankara went unanswered, and it was unclear why the shootings occurred.
Ongoing dispute between Turkey and Greece
Allow us to inform you that both nations have recently threatened one another due to long-running controversies in both nations. Additionally, each side has accused the other of invading one another’s airspace. Turkey had earlier threatened to use military force against Greece, a neighbour. Greece allegedly violates international accords by stationing troops on Turkish islands in the Aegean Sea, according to Turkey.
Turkey accuses Greece
Turkish fighter jets were allegedly grounded by Greek air defence personnel during NATO manoeuvres over the eastern Mediterranean, according to Turkey. Greece claims that it must safeguard its eastern islands as well. This includes tourist-friendly locales like Rhodes and Kos. These regions are very near to the militarily potent Turkish mainland neighbour.
Turkey released video footage
A Greek Coast Guard ship was allegedly seen on camera while at sea. The sound of around a dozen rounds can also be heard during this. A crew member was overheard in Turkey claiming that the Greek Coast Guard was responsible for the attack. The Turkish Coast Guard has released a video that appears to have been taken with a cell phone. Let us inform you that NATO, the US-led military alliance, includes both Greece and Turkey as members. However, the conflict between the two suggests that this military alliance may be breaking apart.
Erdoan threatens to pay a heavy price
Greece would “face a severe price,” according to a previous threat from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish President stated, “What I’m talking about is not a fantasy,” during a press conference. If I say we’ll arrive one night abruptly, I mean we’ll arrive one night abruptly when the time comes. Greece was incensed by the Turkish President’s threat.
Turkey-Greece War completes 100 years
There are several causes for the animosity between Turkey and Greece, other from the territorial dispute in the Aegean Sea. involving disputes with airspace, natural gas, and maritime rights. Although there has long been animosity between these two neighbours, since Russia’s war on Ukraine, their relationship has deteriorated quickly. Let us inform you that the 1919–1922 war between Greece and Turkey is being commemorated this year on its 100th anniversary.