Foreign Ministry: Turkey must “come to its senses” and stop claiming sovereignty over Imia

Turkey should “come to its senses” and use the European Commission report released Tuesday as a useful self-examination tool to improve its image domestically and abroad, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Following a Turkish Foreign Ministry announcement that claimed “the Imia islets, their territorial waters and their air space is exclusively under Turkish sovereignty.”
The Greek FM referred to a Commission report on progress made for accession talks on West Balkan countries and Turkey, which called on Turkey among other things to improve relations with EU member-states, especially Greece and Cyprus.
“While the EU calls on Turkey to respect European laws, Turkey responds with a provocative statement circumventing the laws,” the Greek ministry said in its statement. “It reiterates a manifestly unlawful position, ignoring the fact that the legal status of the Aegean is absolutely established by international law. The Greek sovereignty over Imia is explicit and undeniable, according to the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, the Italian-Turkish Agreements of 1932 and the Treaty of Paris of 1947.”
“For yet another time, the European Commission’s criticism of Turkey has caused it to become absurd. We call on Turkey to come to its senses and use the findings of the Commission’s report as a useful self-examination tool to improve its image, both in in its own public’s opinion and in the international community.”

“Rational and calm thought should prevail in difficult times” underlined Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in an interview on Wednesday with 247 FM radio, referring to the issue of the Imia islets raised anew by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

He explained that “it is clear the Imia are under Greek ownership, and it would be wise of Turkey to understand that on the Aegean side at least it ought to and woud be beneficial for itself also to act according to international laws. Greece is far more organised as a country in all field and sectors than Iraq and Syria are”. Greek sovereignty over the islets has been established by three international treaties, he said, which are explicit on the issue.

FM Kotzias: Imia’s ownership is clearly established by three international treaties

Kotzias said that “if someone is to take an initiative in foreign policy it would be good to consider what might come after,” he said, adding that “the Greek flag may be raised everywhere” he noted “but when and how you defend this action is something you should also think about,” he said, referring to an incident involving the Greek flag on an islet.

“The government, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministry are responsible for the foreign policy and its coordination”, concluded Kotzias.