Greek Defence Minister Enlarges Treaty of Lausanne to “All” Islands
Greek Defence Minister Dendias attended a Symposium in Lemnos by the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations about the Lausanne Conference and its decisions 100 years later. Defence Minister Dendias stated that The Treaty has no expiration date no revision date. It will be valid forever. He noted that the Treaty fully and clearly guarantees Greek sovereignty over all the islands. He added, “In particular for Lemnos, which today hosts the Symposium, Article 12 seals Greece’s sovereignty over Lemnos. But also Samothrace, Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria. Islands that were fully integrated into the Greek national body.” He has also repeated these words on his social media accounts.
Article 12 of the Treaty confirms the 1914 Decision of Six Powers. This article states that the islands of Lemnos, Samothrace, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria, and others under Greek occupation as of 1914 were ceded to Greece. Article 13 of the Lausanne Treaty specified the demilitarisation modalities for Lesvos, Chios, Samos, and Ikaria. It imposed certain restrictions related to the presence of military forces and the establishment of fortifications. Minister Dendias’ words create ambiguity about whether those islands as “fully integrated into the Greek national body” do not have to be “demilitarized”.
On the other hand, Turkiye demands the clarification for the status of Islands, Islets and Rocks in the Aegean, which were not ceded to Greece by international treaties. According to Turkish vision, there are numerous small islands, islets and rocks in the Aegean ownership, which were not ceded to Greece by international treaties. Turkiye notes that most of those features cannot sustain human habitation and have no economic life. Turkiye accuses Greece of attempting to change these creatures’ status by opening some of them to artificial settlement. Turkiye regards this policy as an attempt to establish “fait accomplis” to close off the Aegean Sea as a Greek lake. Turkiye does not object to the title of those islands, islets and rocks, which were explicitly given to Greece by the relevant provisions of international treaties. Turkiye, however, states that the provisions of valid international treaties should confirm the title of the other geographical formations.