16 Turkish Islands Have Been Occupied by Greece

R. Major-General and Deputy Chairman of the Patriotic Party, Naci Beştepe, evaluated the occupation and annexation of 16 Turkish islands.

Retired Major-General and Deputy Chairman of the Patriotic Party (Turkey), Mr. Naci Beştepe held a press conference on the 16th of March 2015. He evaluated the occupation and annexation of 16 Turkish islands and the stance of the AKP government on this issue.


Despite the fact the occupation and annexation of the islands belonging to the Republic of Turkey have been brought up by the media several times, the AKP government continues to remain silent.


The 16 islands and one reef, given to Greece overtly by the AKP government, are of strategic importance in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Republic of Turkey has been surrounded by Greece with the help of the AKP government and became unable to exceed beyond three miles in the Aegean Sea.


In answering the parliamentary questions given by the opposition parties in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has accepted and admitted the occupation.    


The Minister of Foreign Affairs of that time, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, has tried to stall the public opinion by distorting the issue.


The AKP does not deserve it to boast with the Ottoman Empire

The Islands which were conquered during the period of Suleiman the Magnificent and Mehmet the 4th and which were not handed back by Atatürk and Inönü in Lausanne, and have been registered in the inventory of the state in 1936 by the Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Şükrü Kaya, have been openly given to Greece.

Map number 2
Map number 2

Map number 2, appended to the 15th article of the Lausanne Treaty, shows that in total 14 islands, including the 12 islands given to Italy and also Rhodes and Meis, were shown.


Furthermore, names of the 14 islands that were given to Italy were underlined in red.


The 14 islands which were given to Italy pursuant to the treaty of Lausanne and later which were transferred to Greece under the treaty of Paris in 1947 were shown in blue.


Despite being part of Turkish land, the 16 islands and the reef which were overtly given to Greece by the AKP government by staying silent against the occupation and annexation in 2004, are shown in black. Greece has increased its number of islands in south Aegean from 14 to 30, through the AKP government.     

The visit of the President of Greece

In 2009, Mr. Karolos Papulyas, President of Greece, visited the Aydın/Eşek Islands which is occupied by Greece and greeted the Greek soldiers and the Greek flag on the islands.


In front of the Municipality Building where Mr. Papulyas being photographed, there is signboard saying “Hellenic Republic, South Aegean Region, Twelve Islands Province, Eşek Island Township / Society”. As it is understood from the signboard that Greece had annexed the island in 2009 which was occupied in 2004.   


According to the map appended to the Lausanne Treaty, the island that Mr. Papulyas had visited belongs to the Republic of Turkey.


According to a British map of 1943, the island that Mr. Papulyas had visited belongs to the Republic of Turkey.

British Map. Sheet 43 H. Frontiers in the Dodecanese as of September 1943.
British Map. Sheet 43 H. Frontiers in the Dodecanese as of September 1943.

According to a US map of 1951, the island that Mr. Papulyas had visited belongs to the Republic of Turkey.

US Map. 1951. Printed by Army Map Service. Washington D.C. The Aegean. Europe; Asia.
US Map. 1951. Printed by Army Map Service. Washington D.C. The Aegean. Europe; Asia.

EU has also occupied Turkish soil by deploying Latvian Coast Guard to the Eşek Island, in the scope of FRONTEX.


Visit of the Greek Defence Minister

Nikos Dendias, the Defence Minister of the Samaras government, visited Aydın/Eşek Island, a Turkish island occupied by Greece, on 11 January 2015.


Minister Dendias, had his photo taken together with occupying Greek soldiers.


The visit of Minister Dendias appeared in the headlines of the press.


Mr. Kammenos, the Defence Minister of Tspras government, that acceded after the elections on 25 January 2015 in Greece, left a wreath on Kardak Island region by helicopter on 30 January 2015. In a statement made by the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry, it was indicated that there was no airspace violation.


According to the British map dated 1943, which shows the maritime boundaries, the helicopter, which was carrying Mr. Kammenos, violated Turkish airspace by 2 miles. The Kalolimnos Island, which is 2 miles west of Kardak Island, has been occupied by Greece for 11 years. The Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, recognized tacitly Greece’s domination on Kalolimnos Island and the territorial waters of Turkey by making a statement indicating that “there was no airspace violation.” Minister Çavuşoğlu and the Ministry have no right to recognize tacitly Greece’s domination on Turkish territories.


Visit of a Greece delegation on 6 March 2015

On 6 March 2015, Minister Kammenos, had come to the Eşek Island and Bulamaç Island of Aydın together with the Chief of Staff of the Greek Army, Commander of the Army Forces, and Commander of the Naval Forces. News on this issue appeared in the Greek press. Foreign Affairs Ministry of Turkey made a weak statement calling Minister Kammenos to act responsibly in his actions and statements in the Aegean Region. However, they did not give any information about the Minister’s activities.


On the next day, the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Greece challenged the AKP government by making a statement. In return for this statement the AKP government remained silent.  


News articles appeared in the Greek press on Minister Kammenos’ actions in Eşek and Bulamac Islands and his photos were published.


Together with the commanding staff of the Greek Armed Forces, Minister Kammenos made an inspection in Turkish territories and territorial waters without any hindrance.


Despite a news article appearing in Turkish press, the AKP government kept silence in order to prevent the truth becoming public, and thus they recognized tacitly Greece’s domination on Eşek and Bulamac Islands belonging to the Republic of Turkey.


While the President of the Republic of Greece, Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence and the command staff of the Greek Armed Forces are freely visiting without hindrance the Eşek and Bulamac Islands, which are Turkish soil, citizens of the Republic of Turkey cannot visit the islands and they cannot pass beyond 3 miles of the shore in the Aegean Sea.


Erdoğan, Gül, Davutoğlu and the AKP government are responsible for giving up 16 Islands and a reef, which belong to the Republic of Turkey, publicly to Greece. The Aegean Sea has turned into a Greek lake by the agency of the AKP administration.


The biggest territory loss in the history of the Republic

The Republic of Turkey had experienced the first and the biggest territorial loss in its history and our national boundaries had changed as a result. Our loss is much bigger than the territorial loss compared to the Tomb of Suleyman Shah. Our citizens, who voted for Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP, did not vote to see Greek flags waving and Greek soldiers walking around in our homeland.


Crime of Treason

A constitutional crime has been committed by the AKP government, by changing “Crime of Treason” mentioned in the Article 302 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK), the “Terror Crime” mentioned in the 3rd Article of the Counter Terrorism Law and the 3rd Article of the Constitution.


The crimes committed are not duty crimes. Giving away overtly the territories to Greece is not one of the duties of the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and the Advisor of the Minister. Those who are responsible should be tried in the High Criminal Court. Besides, these crimes are justifications for the closure of the AKP. This is one of the reasons why they endeavour to remove the articles on the closure of political parties in the Parliament.  


History had repeated itself and Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, which collaborated with the Ottoman Empire’s enemies during the World War I, is now being a part of the occupation by collaborating with Greece.

Patriotic Party will do the necessary

We strongly condemn especially Greece and the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the European Union and Latvia. And we are calling them to withdraw their soldiers and citizens immediately who are in the Turkish territories.


We are warning the AKP government and calling them to do their duty. We are reminding them that they will not be able to escape from the legal responsibility.


Patriotic Party (Turkey) will not allow homeland to be abandoned and will not allow foreigners’ occupation and annexation.


The Patriotic Party (Turkey) will do everything necessary to regain our occupied and annexed territories peacefully.