Ankara slams Greece for 'illegally arming' 16 islands in Aegean
Greece, arming 16 out of 23 islands with non-military status, in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea, should act in accordance with international law, Turkey's defense minister has said.
Speaking in his visit to Turkey's missile producer Roketsan on Jan. 23, Hulusi Akar said: "We expect Greece to act according to international law, agreements and good neighborly relations."
In addition to the fight against terrorism, Turkey's activities are ongoing in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, off Cyprus, and Libya, Akar said, adding that they are carried out in accordance with international law and the territorial integrity of the countries.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for Cyprus, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels.
Ankara has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus's annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Cyprus was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.