During my many years of trying to reach out to many Turkish friends to find common ground on which to create a platform of common principles and views that ordinary people, on both sides, could agree on regardless of the changes in the governments of both states, I ran into what felt like an impenetrable wall of granite.
Here are some of them:
1. Interpretation of international law.
Turkey believes that international treaties contain the concept of international law but are independent of it, and a country can invoke international law without having signed up to the legislation, since it does not agree with the rest of the terms of the legislation. i.e. Ignores the three mile coastal boundary imposed for Turkish territory mentioned in paragraph 6 the Treaty of Lausanne.
Η ερμηνεία που προσδίδει η Τουρκία στον όρο αυτό είναι ότι η αποστρατικοποίηση είναι όρος που απαλλάσσει την Τουρκία από την δέσμευσή της να σέβεται και την κυριαρχία τους. Πουθενά όμως στη σύμβαση δεν υπάρχει όρος αμφισβήτησης των συνόρων.
Turkey’s interpretation of this term is that Aegean Islands demilitarization is a term that releases Turkey from its commitment to respect sovereignty. But nowhere in the contract is there a condition to dispute the borders.
2. The validity of international treaties
Even for the terms of the international treaties, which Turkey has subscribed to, Turkey itself considers that it can reserve, for itself, the right to pick and exempt the terms that it considers against its interests and, by extension, to apply terms of its choice. i.e., Invasion of Syria, invasion of Iraq, invasion of Cyprus, etc., While the rest of the co-signatory countries do not have the right to defend themselves in the event of a threat to their sovereignty.
At this point, Turkey completely reverses reality by pretending to be threatened by Greece, while it itself threatens Greece with Casus Beli against rights that are clearly enforced by the international law of the sea, while at the same time Turkey refuses to abbey by the law.
3. EEZ- Pseudo-EEZ with Tripoli of Libya, called ‘Medusa’
According to the UN International Law of the Sea, the EEZ is defined by two states that are geographically opposite each other with less than 400 miles away. Greece is opposite to Libya, while Turkey is not. Also, Egypt is opposite to Greece. So, the EEZ between Greece and Egypt cannot be ignored for any reason.
4. Cyprus EEZ
Cyprus is an autonomous independent country that is a member of the UN and the European Union. Turkey is, admittedly, a guarantor power along with Great Britain and Greece that all three together under the UN, all guarantee the independence of Cyprus. Turkey acts unilaterally and does not recognize Cyprus as an independent state with a Turkish Cypriot minority.
Despite this, Turkey has been transferring population from mainland Turkey to Cyprus effectively altering, through settlement, the population ratio among Greek and Turkish population, which is an act of committing a war crime according to international law.
Cyprus has legally defined an EEZ with the opposite countries, in accordance with international law of the sea.
Despite the legality of the Cypriot EEZ, Turkey unilaterally violates the Cypriot EEZ.
It does this in spite multiple violations of UN resolutions, even though Turkey is a member of the UN
5. Fake News for pushing back refugees and immigrants
Turkey accuses Greece of pushing back refugees and migrants, even though according to international law, only these people who come from war zones are considered as refugees and can apply to border countries that are obliged to provide asylum. Turkey is a country that is obliged to offer asylum and even receives money from European Union for this purpose.
On the contrary, Turkey facilitates and organizes convoys of migrants and refugees to illegally enter Europe through Greece.
Such activity includes methods involving illegal means of taking advantages of innocent victims to risk their lives in the Aegean waters and then spreading false news that the Greeks are drowning refugees
6. Fake news about aggressive policy adopted by Greece
One of the most hypocritical Fake News adopted by Turkish propaganda recently, is the accusation that Greece is following an expansionist and aggressive policy against Turkey.
Turkey very brazenly reverses facts that Greece threatens Turkey in many ways, even accusing Greece for the visits of political leaders to the Aegean Islands, as if a country should ask permission from neighboring countries about which politician or government official can visit the Acre Islands.
It’s almost funny to listen that a distant island which is close to Turkish border it should belong to Turkey.
It is also strange that Turkey ignores the existence of numerous Greek islands in the Aegean and seek to find pretexts for questioning national sovereignty to overcome the problem of international law.
I wonder if a country’s border should be closer to….. the capital of the country than closer to a neighboring country. A boarder is a boarder.
Is this a joke or am I wrong?
7. Falsification of History
In the same way that Turkey is erasing Greece from the map of the Mediterranean by agreeing to the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum, it ignores the signs of Hellenism in Asia Minor.
It turns churches into mosques, an unthinkable practice for a civilized society.
It changes the Greek names, removes words like “Byzantium”, “Hellenic”, Greek names replacing names on monuments with words like “Roman”, “Ancient civilizations” and other artificial words that lend generality.
They even create new names to hide the roots of Greek language by replacing it with foreign or local elements.
They change the population numbers and dates, even for Byzantine period they quote incorrect information about the indigenous population composition, projecting minorities such as Levantines, Balkans, Arabs, Slavs, against Greece, etc.
They also try to appropriate areas such as Peloponnese or Crete and Dodecanese that were occupied by Venetians and other conquerors who were often assimilated by the native Greek population or eventually expelled.
The empathy against Hellenism reached such a degree, that even today, Turkey question the national continuity of Hellenism from Ancient Greece to present, while, in contrast, they project the transition of Turkish tribes to Northern Europe as historically indisputable, in order to document rights in Europe while they consider that the transfer of Turks and Albanians which had been taking place for many years, with the aim of altering the population composition in their conquests, had been a normal process.
It is generally considered that the Turkish occupation of Greece was for 400 years, in fact the Turkish occupation of Peloponnese, Crete and other islands was just for 200 years, this, according to Turks was a sufficient period to establish property rights. see the recent statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, M. Cavusoglu: «We will drill for gas with the world against us – Greece is pathetic and a beggar. The Greeks envy us because we are a global power.» How to reason with politicians of this level?
With this rationale, Turkey is trying to document its right to the “Blue homeland” and the Turkish EEZ.
8. The myth of the good relations of the Christian minorities under Ottoman rule
Another element that Turkey invokes to soften the impression it leaves on the West is the reference to the rights of the Ottoman Empire which, according to the Turks, maintained a multi-ethnic community which was destroyed by the Armenians together with the Greeks and the Assyrians. Not a word about head tax, child abuse, second class citizens, crypto-Christians, no mention of discriminatory family law. But all these are outdated historical facts that are forgotten along with the comparison of Ottoman Turkey with the Western Middle Ages as if there was no Renaissance in the West which used Hellenism as a basis for the cultural and scientific progress of humanity.
For the Turks, Byzantium did not contribute anything to the Renaissance, it’s only thanks to the Arabs that Renaissance happened.
These are the views of Turks, aimed to eliminate the contribution of Hellenism, which, according to them, vanished due to continuous conquests from both the West and the East, Venetians, Arabs, Ottomans, Albanians, Bulgarians, and Slavs.
They hide the importance and power of Greek language, religion, culture, and national consciousness. which was preserved for more than thousands of years because of cultural and religious traditions.
They conceal the Christianization of Slavs, the survival of Hellenism in the Ionian Islands with the help of the Cretan culture, the survival of Hellenism in Phanari of Istanbul with senior Phanariotes occupying top governing and administrative positions in Moldavia, the establishment and preservation of the “Great School of the Genus” in Istanbul, the creation of the Cyrillic Alphabet by Cyril and Methodius, the survival of the Ecumenical Patriarch recognized by most Christian Orthodox communities around the world, bitterly opposed by Turkey, the survival of the top ecclesiastic school of Christian Orthodox religion in Prince islands which is still kept closed by Turks, who try to eliminate the influence of the Patriarch.
They hide the power of Hellenism of the diaspora on the Danube, the Black Sea, and Central Europe.
They hide the power of the Hellenic merchant shipping fleet flourishing during the period of the Turkish occupation, that helped young Greek generation and Hellenism in general, to follow up western culture and liberal ideas, even under the Medieval conditions of the Ottoman Empire.
9. The partial demilitarization of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria,
From an article by Giorgos T. Mavrogordatou in «K»:
«From the minutes of the Treaty of Lausanne it appears e.g. how the partial demilitarization of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria resulted from a recommendation of a subcommittee of experts chaired by the famous French general Weygand.
The subcommittee rejected the complete demilitarization that Turkey was asking for, on the grounds that then the same would have to apply to the opposite territory of Asia Minor, so that the islands would not be at Turkey’s mercy. The pursuit of reciprocity and balance can be seen, in particular, in the issue of overflights by military planes. Turkish planes were forbidden to fly over the islands and Greek planes over the territory of the Asia Minor coast (Article 13 par. 2 of the Treaty of Lausanne). Besides, the minutes also show that demilitarization and sovereignty were treated as two separate issues.
Our own ahistorical reaction to the issue of Hagia Sophia offers an example of misguided ignorance of the past. As if it had not been a mosque for nearly five centuries, until 1934. As if it had only just now, for the first time. On the contrary, we did not take advantage of the fact that in 1934 it ceased to be a mosque by the decision of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Atatürk.
10. Turkish behavior during the Russian invasion to Ukraine
Turkey’s two-faced behavior since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, has awakened both Europe and America. Especially Turkey’s double game with the purchase of defense equipment from Russia, and its differentiation from the rest of Europe and NATO allies in terms of the sanctions that the rest of the countries have imposed.
Turkey is taking advantage of the need the west has both to deal with the energy and economic blockade and the projected Russia’s revisionism with which Turkey itself appears as a fraternized fellow traveler and follower of same ideology.
An indication of the magnitude of the folly and the grave danger posed by these revisionist theories, as expressed by the new incendiary statements made by Erdogan saying, in a speech to the parliamentary group of the ruling party, that Turkey does not consist of the borders that appear on maps, but «the borders of his “heart” span three continents and seven seasons.
At the same time, he noted that Aristotle and Homer and their cities are the traces of our history as well as of humanity.
Outrageous, more so than Putin’s statements and actions that he announced to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
WHY IS TURKEY SO CONFIDENT;