Ankara, Turkey – Experts say Greek military has been in Meis (Kastellorizo) for decades. Experts assessed the historical status of the island of Meis : ‘There have been Greek soldiers in Meis for years.’
The arming of Meis was even on the agenda in the 1960s, “there are reports in the Press that Greece made a pile of soldiers and weapons in Meis during the Cyprus events in 1964. Turkey should first know its diplomatic rights.
There have been Greek soldiers on the island of Meis for many years, even an airstrip belonging to Greek soldiers. Experts say the government’s response today was intended to “play into domestic politics.”
With the images of Greece sending troops to the island of Meis, the debate that Meis should have unarmed status has been re-raised. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in a statement on January 15, 2020, claimed that the belonging of the islands occupied by Greece was not completely clear, and that the status of these islands was finalized by the Treaty of Paris.
Experts, on the other hand, evaluated the history of the island of Meis. Experts noted that the Ottoman State lost a large part of its territory in the period from 1878 to 1918. “Part of it was also forced to make better treaties or deliver quietly in the face of pressure from major states. These include giving Cyprus to the British in 1878 and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria Hungary.
France’s annexation of Tunisia, Britain’s annexation of Egypt. These losses were during the reign of Abdulhamit. The Union forces reacted differently to the Italian invasion of Libya than Abdulhamit. In Libya, the Union officers (including Mustafa Kemal) attempted to organize the resistance. After that, Italy wanted to force the Ottoman state to peace by occupying places close to the Anatolian Coast.
Because the Anatolian coast and the islands here were vital for the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, the fact that the Balkan War was at the door and its subsequent exit pushed the Ottoman state to a treaty with Italy. By the Treaty of Uşi, Rhodes, 12 islands and Meis were granted to the Italians, the 122. article of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 has also confirmed this.
Since these were among the lands lost before Mondros, they could not be included in the national borders of Misaki Milli. The 15. article of Lausanne also approved the granting of these islands to the Italians. But this is confirmation of the previous loss. In Lausanne, the islands were disarmed to ensure Turkey’s security.”
‘Paris Treaty does not bind Turkey’
The armament of the islands was carried out by the Italians before and during the Second World War. “Groups of Germany and England, who wanted to draw Turkey with them throughout the war, used the islands as bait. But Turkey did not take the bait, taking lessons from the first World War, and did not participate in the war.
In the Paris Treaty of 1947, Turkey did not participate as a party. Because those who participated in it were the losers and winners of the war. Turkey was not on either side. By this agreement, the islands were ceded to Greece.
Although the Turkish population declined in the islands during the Italian occupation, the main decrease occurred during the period of Greek rule. Turkey is not a party to the Paris Treaty, but according to Lausanne, it can demand the disarmament of the islands.
Although the islands pass from Italy to Greece, the main binding for Turkey is Lausanne, not the Paris Agreement. Therefore, Turkey should first look to Lausanne, then to Paris.”
’Greek soldiers landed to Meis in 1964′
“During the Cyprus events in 1964, there are reports in the Press that Greece made a pile of soldiers and weapons in Meis. The arming of Meis was on the agenda even in the 1960s.
First, turkey should know, protect and act according to its diplomatic rights. War and weapons are the last resort of diplomacy, and they are dangerous.
‘The first thing Is the official uniform’
The Greek military has already been in Meis for decades. The first thing here is that they go to the island in official uniform.
Greek soldiers in the Meis were replaced by periodic assignments every year. They came by ferry from Rhodes, but they came as civilians. But One knew they were soldiers from their shaves, from their manners. One would already see it when one looked at it with the naked eye from Kaş.
The only thing they did differently this time was to come to the post exchange with the official uniform to play in public. That would be good domestic policy material. ’ It’s like it’s the first time, ‘ they said, and they were right.
Here there is also a 600-meter-long airstrip. In fact, this airstrip used by Greek soldiers has been active since 1998. In Meis, Turkey watched day by day what the Greek soldiers were doing, they fixed the airfield, they made periodic changes, if the weapons were old, they brought new weapons. And they would reflect that as if it were an internal security measure.
Every once in a while, a Greek assault boat comes to the port in Meis, and Turkey immediately deploy an assault boat at Kaş. This means mutual control for years. If Greece puts a needle in Meis, Turkey will see.
Arming and removing soldiers, which have been done for years, is already known, but not reacted. The current reaction is to play into mutual domestic politics. Greek defense ministers make their first visit to Donkey island or something.
They go to the island of unarmed status, burn a barbecue. It’s the soft belly of the Greeks. This issue should be raised persistently on the UN Security Council, NATO and international platforms.