Greece, Greek soldiers in Kastellorizo

Greece risks losing Kastellorizo sovereignty in its dispute with Turkey

Kastellorizo, located just 2.4 km off the coast of Turkey and which belonged to Ottoman Empire until 1915, was granted to Greece in 1947.

A deputy of the Hellenic parliament has warned that Greece could lose its sovereignty over the island of Kastellorizo ​​(Meis, in Turkish) if the government of Athens takes its dispute with Turkey over the rights to exploit gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

This was stated by Dimitris Kammenos, deputy of the Greek parliament for the Independent Greeks party (ANEL) for the Piraeus B region, in statements to the Greek television channel Skai TV, where he warned that the Greek political class must tell its citizens the truth; namely, that Greece could lose its sovereignty over the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Kastellorizo and over the island itself if the government brings the matter before The Hague.

Kastellorizo, located just 2.4 km off the coast of Turkey and which belonged to the Ottoman Empire until 1915, was granted to Greece in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. “We need to tell the Greek people that we are going to lose the EEZ and sovereignty over the island of Kastellorizo,” said Kammenos, adding that citizens have no real awareness of what it means to go to the Hague Court to resolve the dispute with Ankara.

According to Kammenos, the arguments used so far by members of the Greek government to defend their claims in the EEZ that Turkey considers within its sovereignty, will hardly be upheld before the international court, and the only solution for Greece is to pressure Turkey by peaceful and diplomatic means through the United States, because Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan “no longer cares about Greece.”

Tension between Greece and Turkey has reached dangerous levels in recent weeks over the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially after Athens has rejected Ankara’s goodwill gestures and calls for dialogue. Greece maintains that the island of Kastellorizo ​​- only 12 km2, and 600 km far from Greece – gives it the right to claim its exploitation rights in 40,000 km2 of the continental shelf of Turkey.