ATHENS — Despite fiery Turkish threats over who owns the waters around Greek islands, Greece doesn’t expect any provocations when President Katerina Sakellaropoulou visits the hot spot of Kastellorizo on Sept. 13.
Turkey has an energy research vessel and warships near the island where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would drill for oil and gas in waters Greece says are part of its Continental Shelf.
That has ratcheted up fears of a conflict with Greece sending part of its navy to monitor the Turkish ships but New Democracy government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Greece expects Turkey will not cause any incidents while she’s there.
“It is an important date. We cannot fathom that there might be any provocation towards the President because this will be another level of escalation,” Petsas told Alpha TV.
“What matters is that Turkey’s rhetoric and actions are gradually pushed aside. And Turkey has several fora that it can choose to de-escalate (tensions.). One of them is NATO, the European Council or [European Council President] Charles Michel’s conference initiative,” he added.
Sakellaropoulou will be visiting Kastellorizo to mark the 77th anniversary of the island’s liberation, the island being about a mile off the coast of Turkey, Erdogan saying he doesn’t accept the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that set boundaries.
Kastellorizo, which had been occupied by the French and Italians, was officially assigned to Greece during the 1974 Paris Peace Treaties but Erdogan has argued islands so close to Turkey he can almost shout to them should be Turkish now.
Kaynak: The National Herald