Only two (2) days remain before the opening of the High Cooperation Council between Greece and Turkey, which will be held in Athens, with the Greek government expecting to find channels of cooperation with its neighbours, starting from "low policy" issues of common interest for both countries.
Our view is that on such issues as addressing climate change, green energy, tourism, trade, there will be progress and the signing of agreements between the two countries.
However, the recent statements by Erdogan on the "Homeland of his heart", where he included Thessaloniki within it, those of Foreign Minister Fidan on the Turkish minority in Thrace and the Dodecanese and those of Turkish Naval Chief of Staff Tatlioglu, where he reiterated the issue of demilitarization and our national sovereignty over our islands in the Aegean, give the "stigma" of the unyielding Turks from their claims against Greece and that there is still a questioning of the "neighbours" on issues of our national sovereignty and sovereign rights.
Greece's position and aspirations
Greece's position is that we are not discussing anything else with the Turks except the delimitation of the EEZ and continental shelf, no willingness to retreat on issues of national sovereignty and sovereign rights and the opening of communication channels and the creation of mechanisms so that the differences that exist with Turkey do not produce crises.
By National Sovereignty you mean that Greece has full rights to all of its territorial territory (mainland Greece, islands, islets, rocky islets), to its Territorial Waters and National Airspace, while sovereign rights refer to our rights to our EEZ - continental shelf.
We recall that our Territorial Waters are 6nm, our National Airspace is 10nm and that Turkey is threatening Greece with a casus belli in case of extension of its territorial waters, a right which our country has the right to exercise under the Montego Bay Convention on the Law of the Sea, to 12nm.
The Turkish casus belli
Turkey, for its part, maintains a 12 nm territorial sea in the Black Sea, even though it claims for the Aegean that it does not accept our territorial sea to be extended to 12 nm, because it has not ratified the Montego Bay Convention on the Law of the Sea.
For this reason, the Turkish parliament has authorized any Turkish government to declare war with our country, in case of an extension of our landfills to 12 nm (Casus Belli).
This is the a la turka interpretation of the Law of the Sea, two measures and two weights in the Black Sea and the Aegean
The delimitation of our EEZ with Italy-Egypt
At the same time, Greece has delimited its EEZ with Italy and partially with Egypt, west of the 28th meridian, from Rhodes and westwards, while it has not delimited its EEZ with Cyprus.
The result of the above two delimitations is our acceptance of a small but reduced area of our islands, while the failure to delimit our EEZ with Cyprus leaves the status of the vast maritime area between the Castelorizo-Cyprus-Crete-Crete-Rhodes-Castelorizo complex, most of which is claimed by the Turks, undecided.
The Greece-France defence agreement and the US bases
Our country also signed a defense agreement with France for mutual assistance and joint defense in case of armed conflict with a third country that would threaten the national sovereignty of one of the two states.
We note here that there is no similar provision, as has been leaked to open sources, in the event of an armed challenge by a third state to the exercise of sovereign rights of one of the two states.
Finally, our country updated and expanded its bases in Crete, Thessaly and Thrace with a new agreement with the USA.
The Turkish rationale for the partition of the Aegean and the "tongues" of the Turkish continental shelf in it
The Turkish rationale for partitioning the Aegean is complex and starts with the delimitation of the EEZ-continental shelf with Greece.
The starting point of the Turkish effort is the Kastelorizo complex (Kastelorizo-Ros-Strongyli), where the Turks are challenging its ability to have a continental shelf - EEZ according to the provisions of the Law of the Sea, arguing that it has a long Turkish coastline and that Turkey is trapped on its shores.
Their aim is that the Kastelorizo complex has no effect - even a very small one - on the delimitation of the Greek-Turkish EEZ in that area, with the range of our EEZs there being 6nm.
The Turks are trying to take advantage of the fact that Greece and Cyprus have not delimited the EEZ to drive a wedge into the sea area of Kastelorizo-Cyprus-Crete-Crete-Rhodes-Castelorizo, interfering with the Turkish EEZ.
Then they will want to apply the same in the Aegean Sea with our islands having 6nm EEZ, so that in the gap between them, the Turkish continental shelf will be interfered with, creating "Turkish tongues" in the Aegean.
Once this is achieved, we realize that between Lesbos and Chios and Lesbos and Lemnos, for example, Turkish maritime zones (EEZ - continental shelf) will be inserted, prohibiting the Greek maritime continuity and communication between our islands that exists now.
The only maritime line of communication that these islands will have will be to the West (on their backs) with mainland Greece.
In this way they will then open up a question of our national sovereignty over our islands with the intention of occupying them.