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Greece violates Lausanne Treaty as it arms Aegean islands, Erdogan says

January 21, 2023 at 11:12 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 10, 2023 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that Greece is violating the Treaty of Lausanne as it is arming the Aegean islands with demilitarised status.

“We observe that the Greek authorities are not complying with the Lausanne and other treaties. What do these treaties say? These islands cannot be armed,” Erdogan told reporters on Friday in Istanbul.

This came as he responded to a question by a reporter regarding a statement by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who pressed that Athens does not want a war with Turkiye and that all problems can be resolved through dialogue.

“Mitsotakis is speaking this way, but his words are not sufficient enough to determine the fate of the region,” Erdogan indicated. “By arming these islands, Greece is violating Lausanne Treaty, as well as other treaties.”

However, Erdogan stressed: “We are taking necessary steps at international organisations at the right place and time.”

Turkiye and Greece have long been at odds over the problems stemming from the status of islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean, where Turkiye, under international pressure, conceded its territories by the Treaty of Lausanne following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.

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