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

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.”