Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu renewed warnings against Greece on Thursday, after Greek media said Athens was planning to extend territorial waters around the island of Crete to 12 nautical miles.
“We will not allow the expansion of territorial waters by even one mile in the Aegean, let alone 12,” Cavusoglu said.
Greek news outlets reported this week that the government in Athens was once again considering an extension to its territorial waters from six miles to twelve in some areas, where Turkey has repeatedly warned this would be a cause for war.
Athens argues it has a lawful right to 12 miles but Ankara says such an expansion of territorial waters would be unfair and a cause for war
“I would like to warn Greece one more time. Do not play tough based on those who you want to have on your side. Do not start adventures that you know will have a bad end,” Cavusoglu added.
There were no named sources in the Greek report this week, but Athens has been arguing that it has a lawful right to 12 miles, citing a UN treaty on the Law of the Sea.
But Ankara, which points to a Turkish parliamentary 1995 decision each time the issue comes up, claims such an expansion of territorial waters would be unfair as it would block Turkey’s access to international waters in most of the Aegean.
Both Greece and Turkey are preparing for an election year in 2023.
Presidential elections will also be held next year in the Republic of Cyprus, which remains divided for half a century between a Greek Cypriot south that is also a UN and EU member and a Turkish Cypriot north recognized only by Ankara.