ANKARA --- Turkey has lashed out at Greece for deploying troops to Meis (Kastellorizio) Island, just two kilometers away from the Turkish shores, in violation of 1947 agreements that pledge a demilitarized status to it amid ongoing tension between the two neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Media outlets have been reporting that Greece is resorting to a military build-up on the island of Kastellorizo, which is under a demilitarized status established with the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty. If true, these media reports are a novel manifestation of the law-disrespecting actions of Greece and her true intentions regarding the eastern Mediterranean,” Hami Aksoy, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, said in a written statement late Aug. 30.
Greek media reported that troops were sent to Meis Island over the weekend but did not provide details about the motive of the deployment. There are claims that the soldiers were already stationed on the island and it was a routine troop rotation. There was no official statement from Athens.
“We reject the illegitimate attempts of changes on the status of the Island. We also underline that Turkey will not allow such a provocation immediately across her coasts to attain its goal,” Aksoy stated.
“Should Greece continue to take tension-increasing steps in the region, she will be the one suffering from it. Turkey is determined indefinitely to defend her rights and interests stemming from international law,” he added. (end of excerpt)
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