Balkans | Turkish-Greek Relations and the Importance of the Blue Homeland

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Balkans |  Turkish-Greek Relations and the Importance of the Blue Homeland

No one should expect Turkey to accept the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which it has not signed, rather than the Treaty of Lausanne and Paris, which both countries are signatories to.

Cihat Yaycı wrote the direction of Greece’s strategic policies towards Turkey after the elections and the importance of the blue homeland for Turkey’s security in 3 questions for AA analysis.

  • What kind of strategic decision change does Greece expect from Türkiye after the elections?

Although governments or regimes have changed since the establishment of Greece, we must see that their goals towards Turkey have never changed. For this reason, I believe that Greece’s expectations of Turkey after the elections will be an acceptance of at least some of its previous demands. These claims are on the Sea of ​​Islands (Aegean), the eastern Mediterranean and the island of Cyprus.

Greece agrees to increase Greece’s territorial waters to more than 6 miles in the Sea of ​​Islands; the recognition that there is no such thing as an island, an island, and a rock (EGAYDAAK) whose sovereignty has not been transferred to Greece by agreements; recognition of Greece’s right to arm and militarize the islands in a non-military situation; It demands that the application of 10 miles of airspace beyond 6 miles of territorial waters be accepted, a practice unique in the world, and that the maritime area within the line connecting the outer islands and archipelagoes of Greece be recognized as a Greek lake.

Greece accepted their claim to the eastern Mediterranean as an archipelago, and Turkey accepted the map of Seville, on which the Gulf of Antalya is seen; Türkiye’s failure to conduct seismic surveys and drilling outside the boundaries of the Seville map; It is the cancellation of the Turkish-Libyan agreements or their non-implementation and the end of the Turkish presence in Libya.

On the other hand, Athens’ demands on the island of Cyprus call for a change in policy towards ending the independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), accepting a Greek-dominated federal structure, and the withdrawal of Turkish forces. Armed forces of the island of Cyprus. At least Greece expects to accept these things from Turkey, as if Turkey was defeated in a war and forced to sit at the table. This expectation is supported by some actors in Türkiye as well as some other countries.

  • What are the main problems in Greece’s relations with Türkiye?

the politics of the Megali Idea (The Big Idea), the “ideology of turning Greece into a Byzantine Empire”, which centered Greece in its relations with Turkey; It is the main obstacle to good relations in every field, from the island of Cyprus to the Sea of ​​Islands, and from the Sea of ​​Islands to Western Thrace. Since the day of its founding, Greece has grown its country by taking land from the Turks on the table 6 times, even though it was defeated in the war or did not enter the war. With the realization that the blue homeland is the land of the homeland, not a drop of the homeland’s water would be given to Greece for the seventh time, not a drop of water for the homeland. However, Turkey has no demand from Greece other than to “comply with the agreements made”.

Turkey expects Greece to comply only with the provisions of the Lausanne and Paris Peace Accords of 1923. Thus, Turkey aims to establish and maintain relations with Greece based on peace and friendship within the framework of its neighborhood and NATO. In this context, one should not expect Turkey to accept the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Turkey did not sign, rather than the Treaty of Lausanne and Paris, which both countries are signatories, for the sake of status. in the Sea of ​​Islands.

The main international arrangement defining the legal status of the Sea of ​​Islands between Turkey and Greece is the Lausanne Peace Treaty. According to Lausanne, while its territorial waters were 3 miles, Greece broke this situation by increasing its territorial waters to 6 miles in 1936. Turkey does not want the situation to deteriorate further. Greece claims rights over 152 groups of islands, islets and rocks (EGAYDAAK), to which its sovereignty has not been transferred under the Lausanne and Paris agreements. This issue of sovereignty must certainly be discussed.

Likewise, Greece’s renunciation of its claims to its 6 miles of airspace and 10 miles of territorial waters, and the demilitarization and demilitarization of 23 non-military islands should be a precondition for the establishment of friendly and neighborly relations. In addition, international law and the Blue Homeland Doctrine require that areas of maritime jurisdiction in the Sea of ​​Islands be shared on the basis of prime land and coastal lengths. The principle of the blue homeland aims for lasting friendship, peace, security and stability in all areas from law to diplomacy, from energy to security, from tourism to sports, from fishing to yachting, and in all other fields, based on the agreements signed between the two parties. States and the principle of sharing and fair use, based on customary law.

  • Can Turkey’s blue homeland policy change?

Mavi defines Vatan as “all areas of Turkish maritime jurisdiction of 462,000 square kilometers that have been declared or expected to be declared in line with Turkey’s rights and interests arising from international law.” [1] Turkey has an area of ​​1,246,000 km2, of which 784,000 km2 is land and 462,000 km2 is Blue Homeland. Blue Homeland is indispensable and indispensable to the well-being and security of present and future generations in Turkey.

According to studies conducted by universities, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Minerals and Exploration Research (MTA), even data that gas hydrate deposits in the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean can meet Turkey’s natural gas needs for 816 years show how our home Blue is a source of wealth that is enough to show it. When we add to it other mines, fishing, tourism, sea transport and ports, we see that our seas are an invaluable wealth.

The basic principle that “the defense and security of the homeland begins overseas” reveals the importance of the blue homeland in terms of security. As the person who introduced the Blue Homeland doctrine, my understanding of the “Blue Homeland” is not Atlanticist, Eurasian, Russian, American, NATO, or Chinese. Mavi Vatan, “Turkish nationalist, Turkish, and Turkish, Republican.” Blue Homeland is the national charter of Turkey on the seas and is a national cause above all ideologies and political parties.

[1] Jehat Yacı, Faten Azraq: “A Map and Book of Doctrine,” Turkey’s National Charter on the Seas, Istanbul Publishing House, 2022.

​[Cihat Yaycı, Emekli Tümamiral]

* The ideas expressed in the articles belong to the author and may not reflect Anadolu Agency’s editorial policy.


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