THE LEGAL REGIME OF THE AEGEAN ARCHIPELAGOS

Written by Konstantinos Konstantinidis Amfiktyon

Turkish propaganda tends to distort the legal status of the Aegean with its absurd revisionist positions and “claims” of Greek space and our sovereign rights. And yet, the legal status of the Aegean is clear and refutes the Turkish claims. The ratification of the Aegean in Greece is done by the following agreements or treaties:

  1/ The London Protocol of 1830, which ratified the liberation of the Sporades islands and their inclusion together with Evia in Greece.

2/ The London Conference of 1913 which ratified the liberation of the eastern Aegean islands and their integration into Greece

3/ The Lausanne Agreement of 1923, which ratified the cession of the Aegean islands to Greece, Turkey’s renunciation of all title and rights in the Aegean [Article 6] and defined Turkey’s maritime borders [Article 6] in three (3) miles from the Asiatic coast. However, in the event that the distance between the Turkish coasts and the opposite Greek islands is less than 6 miles, the border between the two countries is the imaginary middle line, in accordance with international customary law and the UN Geneva Convention of year 1958 and Caracas year 1982.

The Lausanne Agreement provides in para. B of article 13 thereof that “The Ottoman Government will prohibit its military aviation from flying over the islands of Mytilene, Chios, Samos and Ikaria as provided by international customary law and the Warsaw Chicago Conventions etc.” Despite this, the Turkish military aviation as almost two years ago he committed daily violations of the Greek airspace of our country.

4/ The Montreux Agreement of 1936 which gave Turkey the right to arm the Straits and correspondingly to Greece the arming of Lemnos and Samothrace with a decision of ratification by the Turkish National Assembly

5/ The Paris Peace Agreement of 1947 by which Italy cedes full sovereignty to Greece over the islands of the Dodecanese plus Kastellorizo and Leipsos as well as the adjacent islets including Imia which are identified with the number “30” [instead of their name] (Simitis (Aaron Avouri) handed her over to the Turks and said thank you to the Americans)

6/ The Geneva UN Agreements of 1958-60 which codified the international law of the sea until then and introduced new institutions, such as the continental shelf, the border zone, the possibility of extending the coastal zone to 12 nautical miles, that the islands have a continental shelf defining Fishing and Wildlife Conservation zones, which eventually evolved into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) together with the UN Law of the Sea in Montego Bay of 1982 for which Turkey presented a declaration of reservation, which however not accepted and not registered

7/ The DP and Law 5017/31 which define at 10 nm the airspace of our country for security reasons from our coasts and the point from which our Eyalitis zone is measured, which Turkey disputes for this and at this border, until recently, the toughest interceptions of Turkish aircraft (dog fights) took place

8/ Decrees 142/39, 1182/72 and 210/73 by which Greece declared the Greekness of the continental and island continental shelf in accordance with international agreements or conventions and reserved to our country the exclusive exploitation of the hydrocarbons of the Greek continental shelf .

9/ The ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Agreements (Chicago 1944, Paris 1952 and Warsaw) which defined the extent of the Athens FIR (Flight International Region) identifying it with the national airspace, i.e. with the imaginary middle line of the sea between Turkey and the Eastern islands of Greece which constitutes our maritime borders, as we analyze below

10/ The Charter of the UN, the Final Act of Helsinki, the Charter of NATO, the natural and inalienable right of defense and many other international texts which legitimize our right of preventive and lawful defense to protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, international peace and security, but also the peaceful resolution of international disputes. This also legitimizes the militarization of our islands, which are indeed threatened by Turkey

11/ The last UN Convention of 1982 on the Law of the Sea which, after being ratified by 60 countries and subsequently by 192, entered into force in 1995. This Agreement is the last codification of National and Conventional Law and its provisions constitute a mandatory “ius cogens” Law for all countries, even for those that have not signed it, such as Turkey, which, however, has used and applied it in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. (From the book ” Molon Lave” by the distinguished jurist and internationalist Mr. Thalis Mylonas)

Turkey is guilty of criminal acts of genocide, invasion and occupation for 50 years of the territory of the North. Cyprus, without so far having paid for her crimes and without having restored things to their Constitutional order, continues to threaten our country with war, maintaining on her shores a whole Army with numerous landing craft, which gives all rights : a/ To equip the islands b/ To defend them and c/ To attack with every legal means to deal with the threat or invasion in our country, to protect our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity

Turkey seeks the revision of the Lausanne Agreement and the overthrow of the legal status of the Aegean, by claiming our Eastern islands, the Dodecanese… up to Kastellorizos with consecutive threatening declarations by its political leadership, which claims arbitrarily and irrationally, that the these islands were wrongly given to Greece, while they should have been given to Turkey.

And yet they are inactive: While we have International Law and the Law of the Sea on our side, our country was inactive and did not take care to apply them in time to protect its rights or to benefit from the new institutions of Maritime Law. Whereas Turkey, in violation of the above institutions and especially the latest agreement on the Law of the Sea and despite the fact that it has not signed it, applies it where it serves it. In contrast, Attila’s 38% occupied Cyprus defined a continental shelf and EEZ according to the Law of the Sea despite threats from Turkey. Our fear-mongering leaders, with ELIAMEP’s turkolagnus as advisers, instead of setting the 12 nautical miles in our Territorial Waters and the EEZ in all areas, contented themselves with setting those on the Ionian coasts and now they are building “green parks” and “playgrounds” for to show that they are daring ahead of the pre-election period. Alas!! “The country of lions should be ruled by lambs” (21/4/24)

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