In response to the news published by Kathimerini newspaper on January 26, 2021

Why Is The Contract Of 28 December 1932 Legally Invalid?


The sovereignty of Italy over the island of Meis and the islands and cliffs located in the same region, has been recognized with a treaty signed between Turkey and Italy on 4 January 1932 and this treaty has entered into force in the domestic law of both countries. In this way, the problem of which state belong to the islets and cliffs around Meis island, was solved for that period. After the treaty in question, a meeting of technicians was held on 28 December 1932 to determine the remaining Turkish-Italian maritime border between Turkey and Italy, and as a result of the meeting, a records of the proceedings were prepared between the parties. Mentioned record has been signed by the parties, but although there is no contractual will or text of the treaty, this record has not entered into force in the domestic law of the countries and has not been submitted to the Secretariat of the League of Nations.[1] 


The record prepared on 28 December 1932 is essentially a minutes of a meeting. In order for records of the meeting be a legally valid treaty, correspondence was made between the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Embassy in Ankara between 04 January 1933 and 08 January 1937, but no conclusion was reached from these correspondences consisting of nine letters in total.


Due to the aforementioned reasons, the meeting report dated 28 December 1932 did not qualify as an international treaty and is not a legally valid document. [2] After the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, Greece gave question notes to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs many times until 1962 to confirm that the contents of this report were approved. In the light of the aforementioned question notes, it can be said that Greece is trying to use the document which, has no legal validity, in its favor. [3]





It is obvious that the record prepared after the meeting of technicians to determine the maritime borders between Turkey and Italy are not legally valid. The records of the technicians meeting dated 28 December 1932 were not converted into an agreement.


Therefore, the official acceptance of the general maritime borders between Turkey and Italy, which are not subject to discussion, has not taken place. This situation continued after the 1947 Paris Treaty decided to leave the Dodecanese Islands to the sovereignty of Greece.


The news[5] published on 26/01/2021 by Kathimerini, one of the biggest newspapers of Greece, shows that even though 88 years have passed, the meeting records are still shown as if there were a legally valid agreement.


This time the allegations is basing on the map for domestic use, which approved by the Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Mapping, was drawn according to the records of the meeting signed between Turkey and Italy but not entered into force, for this reason Turkey accepted this document.


However, the map in the Kathimerini newspaper is only a map showing the territorial waters of the mainland, and it cannot be claimed that EGAYDAAKs were abandoned based on this map. Separate maps are issued to show the territorial waters of the islands. If Turkey vice versa had territorial waters of this island on the map, Greece would have continued its rhetoric against Turkey, claiming that its sovereignty rights were not recognized.


[1]Meis Adası Bölgesindeki Adalarla İlgili, 04 Ocak 1932 Tarihli Türkiye-İtalya Sözleşmesinin Hukuki Boyutu, 21.Yüzyıl Türkiye Enstitüsü, (erişim: 27/01/2021)

[2]Menteşe Adaları ve Meis bölgesinde Türkiye-İtalya arasındaki deniz sınırını düzenlemek üzere hazırlanan 28 ARALIK 1932 mutabakatı neden geçerli bir hukuki metin statüsü kazanmamıştır?, Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, (Erişim: 27/01/2021)

[3] “Meis Adasının Yanındaki Karaada ve Fener Adası Yunanistan’a Ait Değildir”, BAUDEGS, (Erişim:27/01/2021)

[4] Idem

[5] Kathimerini Gazetesi, 26/01/2021, (erişim: 27/01/2021)


                                                                                                          Muhammed Safa Karzaoğlu
BAU DEGS Volunteer Researcher