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Thursday, October 29, 2020

AHI says President Trump must act on Turkey’s violation of Greece’s continental shelf

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AHI Vehemently Objects to State’s “Disputed Waters” Characterization

 

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has issued the following statement:

Turkey has announced that, from July 21 through August 2, 2020, it will conduct a seismic survey off the coast of the Greek island complex of Kastellorizo in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  This island complex is sovereign Greek territory.  It has a continental shelf as defined under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which is part of the Greek continental shelf.  The island complex is also part of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is available to Greece.  President Trump must immediately condemn this violation of the Greek continental shelf and demand that Turkey cease and desist from this aggressive act.   In addition, there are reportedly at least 15, and could be as many as 25, Turkish navy vessels which have been mobilized in the area.  In response, Greece has placed its armed forces on high alert.

This is an inherently dangerous situation.  Wars have started this way.

Once again, Turkey violates international law.  This act is consistent with its violations of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and its unlawful maritime claims in the Aegean Sea. However, this act is one of the most aggressive acts in Turkey’s long history of aggression because military assets are massing and it can lead directly to armed conflict.

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AHI Vehemently Objects to State’s “Disputed Waters” Characterization

The State Department’s initial response to Turkey’s violation of Greece’s continental shelf urged Turkish authorities to halt any plans for operations and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region is welcomed.  However, the State Department’s initial response also stated that Greece’s maritime rights are “disputed waters” to which AHI objects vehemently.  AHI is outraged the State Department did not flat-out condemn Turkey’s action.  AHI has always contested that when the United States does not publicly condemn Turkey, that it appeases Turkey and serves to embolden Turkey to engage in these provocative acts.

Turkey is demonstrating that it is adverse to U.S. interests and not an ally.  Turkey’s announced seismic survey within Greece’s continental shelf is the latest in systematic pattern of events to execute President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Blue Homeland doctrine that has reached a high-point, bringing a potential for a Defcon 2 condition between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean. The doctrine holds that Turkey will assert its own version, lawful or not, of its sovereign rights in the sea and land of the area using any means at its disposal, including military means. The doctrine and its objective are directly antithetical to the interests of the U.S. and NATO.

Further, AHI calls for Congress to pass H.R.4694, United States-Turkey Relations Review Act of 2019, sponsored by U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

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