KARDAK CRISIS

27/11/2016



The following statements were given place in the article signed by Angeliki Spanu under the title “Kardak Crisis:.. The Night of Grey Compromises”, in the January 28, 2006 issue of Eleftheros Tipos Daily: “After ten years since Kardak Crisis, the report of the heritage of that night left is heavy. The view that there are “grey” zones in the Aegean Sea has become fixed in the international diplomacy, and the opinion that the more the fear of Turkish-Greek tensions among the Greek political elites is and the higher the military incitement in the Turkish establish order is, the more serious faits accomplis it will create has certainly been established. Being humiliated in Kardak was not only a wounding experience for the Greek foreign policy but also a start for the reorganization of it. Turkey did not bring forward its objection to Greek sovereignty over Kardak because it was interested in the mentioned rocks off Kilimli. Its objective was to put forward the Greek objections to the sea borders and within this context, to change the Lausanne Treaty. Turkish “vital” interests were recognized under Madrid Agreement (1997), and the Turkish demands in the Aegean, which had been regarded unilateral until that time, were made lawful to a certain extent with the recognition of the presence of “border disputes” particularly with Helsinki Agreement (1997). Since then, the American diplomacy has emphasized on any occasion that the problems regarding the Aegean should be comprehensively put in order, and the fact that it uses plural expressions in its statements about the problems means the international observers, since 1996, smile whenever they hear that the unique problem between Turkey and Greece is the demarcation of the continental shelf. The official of the US State Secretary, responsible for the Turkish-Greek issues, Matt Bryza, stated to the US correspondent of our newspaper, Lambros Papantoniu, that it was confirmed once again that the USA was playing an intermediary role and clearly adopted the Turkish view that the Aegean was full of problems regarding both the sea and the airspace. The Turkish Ambassador, Tahsin Burcuoglu, is denying the tension and without mentioning the Turkish military activity continuing in the Aegean Sea, praises the Turkish-Greek cooperation. The task of the Turkish diplomacy has become easier since 1996: it is contented with occasionally reminding that the current status quo is a subject of dispute. On the other hand, although the Greek diplomacy reveals that the EU even does not want understand why the tension in the Aegean Sea exists, it finds it enough to make an effort to transform the bilateral problems into EU problems. After the former Prime Minister Simitis thanked (after Kardak crisis) the Americans from the parliament rostrum, he focused all his attention on rehabilitation of the Turkish-Greek relations according to American-Turkish conditions. As Simitis stated in his book title “Policy for A Creative Greece”, grey zones have been the subject of bilateral talks within the dialog for the Aegean problems at the administrative level, which started after 1999 and have been conducted in great secrecy. It is definite that both the content and the pace of this dialogue changed after the political changes (governmental change) in Greece in March 2004. The government implicated that it was to far from reaching an outcome, and the last tour of talks was held in August. However, the Kardak issue highlights the Turkish foreign policy. Turks had chosen those rocks in order to cause tension during the visit of the Greek foreign Minister to Ankara, and choose those rocks when they want to recall that there are sectors the sovereignty of which is indefinite. Contrary to the previous Government, which intended to apply the International Court Justice at Hague for the solution of all Turkish-Greek problems, the current Government, which does not want to make an application and has managed to get rid of it, chose the way of preventing the danger of the Greek sovereignty rights to be a subject of comprehensive negotiation and slowing down the pace, which cannot solve the problem, because the main problem is that after ten years over Kardak crisis, nobody, except Greece, believes that these rocks definitely belongs to Greece in legal terms. The Deputy Undersecretary of the US State Secretary, Matt Bryza, made the following statement about the Kardak Crisis to the US correspondent of our newspaper, Lambros Papantoniu: “I have nothing to say about Kardak crisis. What I want to say about the Aegean issue is that the USA encourages Turkey and Greece both at bilateral level and through NATO channels to cooperate in order to achieve the formation of a mutual understanding and shared purpose in terms of the solution of problems both regarding the Aegean Sea and the airspace. We are ready to help with the efforts for these issues, particularly the military ones. As for the solution of the continental shelf question, I have nothing to add, except that it is necessary we encourage Greece and Turkey to collaborate. Also, I want to emphasize that both countries are the very important allies of the NATO and our two partners we have strategic relations with. If our allies want, we are always ready to give any assistance on these issues”. The Turkish Ambassador to Athens, Tahsin Burcuoglu, made the following statement: “I would to underscore that dwelling upon a past crisis this or that way is not compatible with the positive atmosphere present in our relations today. We should leave the tensions and crises behind and should look at the future with the spirit of optimism, friendship, cooperation and solidarity. Within the context of the dialogue process initiated in 1999 at various levels, Turkish-Greek relations have effectively developed in the favor of both countries in the fields of particularly economy, trade, energy, tourism and transportation. Within the context of this understanding, I am glad to state that Greece and Turkey continue all their efforts to keep the momentum to smooth their relations”.
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