Turkey denounces that the sending of troops by Greece to the islet of Ro, located only 2.4 km from the Turkish coast, is another provocation by Athens.
Greece has begun sending troops to another island in the Aegean near Turkey, in this case the islet of Ro (Karaada, in Turkish), located just 2.4 kilometres off the coast of the Turkish province of Antalya, despite that the islet has the legal status of a non-militarised zone, according to Ankara’s complaint.
Video images shown by the Turkish public channel TRT Haber showed on Thursday Greek soldiers stationed on the islet of Ro, which administratively belongs to the island of Kastellorizo (Meis, in Turkish), where at the end of August Greek army also deployed soldiers despite complaints from Turkey, which called it a provocation and illegal act given that Kastellorizo is also a demilitarised area under the 1947 Treaty of Paris.
TRT Haber pointed out in its information that Greece had transformed several civilian facilities on the islet of Ro, which is only 2.4 kilometres off the coast of Turkey and is uninhabited, into military barracks to house deployed troops. Kastellorizo is the largest island of the so-called Dodecanese Island, located south of the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea.
Turkey asks the EU not to be fooled by Greece
Greece and Turkey have a strong dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean for the rights to explore and exploit their hydrocarbon resources; Athens claims that the possession of islands such as Kastellorizo - located 580 km from Greece, and with an area of just 12 km2 – means that the continental shelf of Greece extends for another 40,000 km2 to the south of Turkey and gives it the right to claim the exploitation rights in the waters where the Turkish ship Oruç Reis is currently carrying out survey activities, escorted by 5 warships.
Ankara however considers this claim absurd and lacking in legal basis, and has repeatedly denounced in recent months the increasing provocative and hostile actions of Greece in the Mediterranean; in particular the announcement by Athens of its intention to extend its territorial waters in the Aegean from 6 to 12 nautical miles, an action that Turkey warned years ago would be considered a casus belli.
Turkey has also criticised France’s recent decision to deploy fighters in southern Cyprus under the pretext of military maneuvers, and has made unsuccessful calls on Greece to initiate an unconditional dialogue that will ease tension in the region before there are “undesirable” consequences. Recently the main Turkish opposition party warned the EU not to get carried away by Athens’ plans in the Eastern Mediterranean and to act responsibly, denouncing Greece’s attempts to isolate Turkey.
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As a history lover, Pablo was captivated by Turkey from the first day he visited it in 2006: he got married there, has a house there… and has since become an expert on Turkey’s current affairs. With a long experience in media, he has been at the helm of hispanatolia.com since 2011, and now also of anatoliatoday.com