Daily Sabah – Turkey announced two new navigational telex (Navtex) after Greece violated the de-militarized status of some islands contrary to the Treaty of Lausanne as the two countries are involved in a dispute over maritime rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Office Of Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography’s Izmir station announced the Navtex on Tuesday, saying that the demilitarized status of Semothrace, Lemnos and Aya Evstratios islands have been violated by Greece.
The Turkish government disputes Greece’s claim of having exclusive rights in the waters where the Oruç Reis is working, arguing that islands should not be included in calculating sea boundaries between countries.
Greece has armed 18 out of 23 islands in the Aegean Sea, which Turkey sees as a threat to its security. These include the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Symi, Icaria, Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Astypalaia, Rhodes, Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis), Nisyros, Tilos, Halki, Karpathos and Kasos.
Starting from the Treaty of London in 1913, the militarization of the Eastern Aegean Islands was restricted and their demilitarized status was confirmed in the Treaty of Lausanne signed in 1923. The 1947 Treaty of Paris, which ceded the Dodecanese islands from Italy to Greece, also confirmed the demilitarized status.
However, Greece argues that the 1936 Montreux Convention on Turkish Straits should be applied regarding the issue, while Ankara says Greece’s obligation to disarm the islands remains unchanged under the Montreux Convention as well since there is no provision that it is different from the Treaty of Lausanne on the issue.