Half the Aegean Sea and the maritime region up to eastern Crete are included in the idea of Turkey’s “blue homeland” maintained and promoted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. A photo posted on the official presidency website depicts Mr. Erdogan signing the guestbook at the National Defense University, while a large framed map showing Ankara’s desires in the background.
The map clearly shows for the first time what Erdogan means when he says the “blue homeland” covers an area of 462,000 square kilometers. It incorporates waters around the eastern Aegean islands, the Dodecanese, a maritime area east of Crete and part of the Cyclades. The photo was taken during celebrations of Turkey’s victory in the Asia Minor Campaign, which resulted in the Asia Minor Disaster and the burning of Smyrna.
Mr. Erdogan said in a statement yesterday that Turkey is determined to break all barriers that threaten it in northern Syria, Iraq, and the eastern Mediterranean. He stressed that he would never allow the rights of Turks and Turkish Cypriots to be violated.