Athens’ move to the United Nations comes at a time when tensions between the two NATO member states are once again very high. Currently, Turkish fighter bombers fly almost daily over the inhabited Greek islands to provoke.
The Turkish government in Ankara believes that Greece has lost its rights to the islands due to its military presence. This is incompatible with the treaties of Lausanne (1923) and Paris (1947), according to the Turks. On the other hand, Athens justifies militarization by threatening the presence of many landing ships on the Turkish coast and the right of each country to self-defense. The enmity between Greece and Turkey has deep historical roots, some say it goes back to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The dispute over the islands is just one of many disputes between NATO allies. Recently, Turkish leader Erdogan publicly cut off contact with Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis. The Turks are angry at the close cooperation between the Greeks and the United States, which has military bases in Greece. Mitsotakis warned Americans against selling fighter jets to Turkey in a speech to the US Parliament. Ankara and Athens are also arguing over seabed natural gas reserves and developments on the island of Cyprus.
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