Istanbul, Turkey – Retired rear admiral Cihat Yayci, architect of Ankara’s expansionist “Blue Homeland” doctrine and its maritime borders pact with Libya’s Tripoli-based government, has said that Turkey’s continental shelf extends to the medial line of the Aegean Sea, while questioning Greek sovereignty over 152 islands.

In an interview with Kathimerini, the Turkish Navy’s former chief of staff defended the 2019 Turkey-Libya deal, reiterating Turkish claims that islands do not have a continental shelf.

“Turkey was not being maximalist; it drew a line that does not touch Rhodes, Kassos, Karpathos or Crete,” he said.

Brushing aside the “wrong impression that Turkey plans to take over the islands,” Yayci, now an academic, said Turkey in fact challenges the sovereignty of “about 152 islands, islets and rocky formations that were not ceded to Greece.”

“We do not claim them, we simply say that [they] have not been ceded to Greece – let’s discuss this.” he said.