Friday, May 24 2024

Greek Foreign Ministry: Turkey "politicizes a purely environmental issue"

marine parks dolphins

ATHENS. "The Turkish Foreign Ministry's announcement politicizes a purely environmental issue," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement referring to the Turkish Foreign Ministry's announcement regarding the creation of two extensive marine parks in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, announced by the Greek government.

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"The global challenge of protecting the environment should raise awareness among governments, not be used to create impressions," he adds.

"The Greek government will continue to unswervingly support the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the country within the framework of a principled foreign policy," the foreign ministry said.

'Based on international law and, in particular, on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Greece is a party. The practice of transactional diplomacy and the use of hybrid means for geopolitical gains is not appropriate for Greek foreign policy," the ministry concludes.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry commented on the government's announcement of the creation of two extensive marine parks in the Aegean and Ionian Seas at the International Ocean Conference "Our Ocean" taking place next week in Athens.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry speaks of "the status of certain islands, islets and rocky islets whose sovereignty has not been transferred to Greece by international agreements."

The announcement of the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding the creation of a marine park in the Aegean
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding the creation by the Greek government of a marine environmental protection park in the Aegean shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

The following is the translation of the Turkish Foreign Ministry's announcement on the marine park in the Aegean Sea, according to the original in Turkish:
"In today's announcement, the Greek Foreign Ministry announced that Greece will declare two new marine parks, one in the Aegean Sea and one in the Ionian Sea, during the "Our Ocean" Conference to be held in Athens, on April 16-17, 2024.

It is well known that Greece has long been trying to leverage almost every platform in the context of Aegean issues. Despite the recent improvement in our relations, it seems that Greece is taking advantage of environmental issues once again.

We recommend Greece not to use the problems of the Aegean Sea, as well as the issues concerning the status of certain islands, rocky islets and rocks whose sovereignty has not been ceded to Greece by international agreements, as part of its own agenda.

We would also like to warn third parties, including the EU, not to instrumentalize Greece's political moves regarding environmental programs.
On the other hand, we recall that the International Law of the Sea encourages cooperation, including environmental issues, between coastal states in closed or semi-enclosed seas and in this context, our country is always ready to cooperate with Greece in the Aegean Sea.

On this occasion we reiterate that we will not accept any de facto situations that Greece may create in geographical formations with a disputed status.

We reiterate that these marine parks will have no legal consequences in the context of the problems between the two countries in the Aegean Sea."

The issue was raised in Turkey by the vice president of the main opposition Kemalist Republican People's Party (CHP), Yanki Bagcioglu, in a written statement published on Saturday by the Turkish news agency ANKA and subsequently reproduced by Turkish media.

Bagcioglu claims in his statement that these are attempts to prepare the ground by Greece for sovereignty claims in the Aegean Sea and notes, among other things: "It is very likely that some of the areas to be investigated will coincide with the areas of our Turkish maritime jurisdiction."

The CHP vice-president and MP also argues that Greece from the day of its foundation considers its claims in the Aegean as state policy and states: "At times, within the framework of this policy, it has sought to achieve these ambitions with projects that are seemingly innocent, such as protecting the environment or conducting scientific research."