New exchange of words between Greece Turkey over Imia (Kardak)

New exchange of words between Greece Turkey over Imia (Kardak)

The complete Greek sovereignty of Imia highlights in its statement the Foreign Ministry of Greece, following the announcement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, in which it questions the legal status of Greek sovereignty over Imia.

Early in the afternoon of Saturday, the Foreign Ministry of Turkey through the announcement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, questioned the sovereign rights of Greece over Imia.

“It is reported that Greece has recently adopted law no. 4519 regarding 446 ‘Natura 2000’ regions on land and at sea.

In fact our country has no objection to the general objectives and content of EU environmental programs such as Natura 2000, the Corine Bird Directive, etc.

However, It is well known that Greece has long exploited these programs with regard to Aegean issues. In this case, Greece is once again exploiting the EU’s Natura 2000 program through a national law.

Greece, following the Kardak crisis in 1996, included in the Natura 2000 program the Kardak rocks, as well as some islands, islets and rocks in the Aegean Sea whose sovereignty is not ceded to Greece by international agreements.

We officially communicated Turkey’s position on the Greek policies on Natura 2000 and the EU’s environmental programs to the European Commission in 1998. We have clearly set our position on this issue through the statement of our Ministry on 29 April 1998 and the statement of the then Turkish Prime Minister on 30 April 1998. In the following period, we made several other statements, as well as written and verbal demarches, before the European Commission.

In this regard, we would like to invite Greece again to act with common sense. We would also like to remind the EU not to be a tool in the political exploitation efforts of Greece towards environmental programs.

We take this opportunity to call upon that there is no doubt about the sovereignty of Turkey over the Kardak rocks. Furthermore, we will not accept any possible fait accompli to be presented by Greece towards the geographic formations in the Aegean Sea, whose legal status is disputed. Lastly, we would like to reiterate that the Greek Law no. 4519 will not have any legal effect on the disputes that exist between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean Sea “, the announcement says.

Sometime later, the Foreign Ministry of Greece issued the following statement:

“The legal status of Imia is fully enshrined and the Greek sovereignty over them is a given and indisputable.

Turkey is mistaken, if it thinks that it can violate international law without consequences as it does in other parts of the world. We recommend them to count their words”./IBNA