Of Main Turkish Hostile Actions and Arbitrary Claims Against Greece 1955-1996

September 1955
Orchestrated attack of Turkish mob against the Greek minority in Constantinople (Istanbul). Significant number of casualties and virtually total destruction of their properties. Beginning of massive exodus of minority from Constantinople (Istanbul). Reduction of its numbers from approximately 120,000 to 2,000 people today.

Decision to close down the Greek Union of Constantinople, effective immediately.

Unilateral Turkish denunciation of the Convention of Establishment of Commerce and Navigation of 1930 (between Venizelos and Ataturk). Greek citizens immediately forced to leave Turkey. Obligation for the expedited departure of their relatives, minority-member Turkish citizens. Issuance of secret law denying Greek citizens all their property rights in Turkey.

Shutting down of all minority schools on the islands of Imbros and Tenedos. Establishment on islands of Turkish jails for heavy criminals, expropriation of properties of the Greek population, consequent fleeing of the Greek minority from the islands. Reduction of minority population from 8,000 to 250 people today.

Decision of the Turkish authorities to shut down the Halki Theological School, immediately executable. Consequent deprival of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of its sole means for acquiring new members.

De facto questioning of Greece's sovereign rights over the Aegean continental shelf, through the granting of research licenses to the Turkish government petroleum company (TRAO) and the sending of the research vessel "CARDALI" to conduct research in the area.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Occupation of 37 percent of the area of the Democracy of Cyprus. One-third of the Cypriot population (180,000-200,000 people) become refugees. Maintenance of Turkish military force of 30,000-35,000 soldiers in occupied areas. Transfer to the occupied areas of approximately 70,000 Turkish settlers from Anatolia.

De facto questioning of Greek air space of 10 n.m., for the first time since 1931. Continuous and massive violations of Greek air space (over 500 in 1995 alone). Over 80 percent of violations occur at less than 6 n.m. from the Greek coast and even over the Greek islands. De facto arbitrary rejection by Turkey of F.I.R. Athens (until 1980).

Throughout the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, Turkey systematically attempts to deprive islands of the rights enjoyed by all countries in their sea space (territorial waters, continental shelf, economic zone, etc.). Turkish efforts are rejected.

Turkey agrees to the referral of the continental shelf dispute to the International Court of Justice (joint statement of Prime Ministers Karamanlis and Demirel in Brussels). Subsequently pulls back from agreement and insists on dialogue for the "political" solution of the dispute (in other words, for the division or the joint utilization of the Aegean continental shelf).

Repeated statements by officials in all levels of Turkish government that Greece's potential extension of her territorial waters to 12 n.m. -- as is her legal right under the Law of the Sea Convention -- or actions concerning other Greek sovereign rights would constitute a "casus belli."
Constant questioning of Greece's sovereignty over the Aegean islands (Lausane Treaty of 1923, Paris Peace Treaty of 1947) on several unfounded pretexts (historical, geopolitical, etc.).

Greece temporarily not member of NATO military leg. Since her return in 1980, Turkey consistently attempts to prevent Greece's full re-entry, through use of the Turkish veto (military planning, joint infrastructure projects, establishment of NATO headquarters in Greece). Since 1992, Turkey refuses to agree to the implementation of NATO decisions for the establishment of two allied headquarters in Greece. It also blocks decision on the establishment in Greece of MND South.

Passage of arbitrary Turkish law establishing Turkish "Search and Rescue" rights over half of the Aegean, in direct violation of ICAO rules.

Arbitrary Turkish regulation regarding navigation through the Straits, in violation of the Montreux Convention (1936).

For the first time in recent history, Turkey claims sovereignty over Greek territory (Imia islets and, by extension, the Dodecanese islands), both through hostile military actions and through the questioning of the validity and binding force of international treaties and agreements that establish the territorial status quo in the Aegean.

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