Unbelievable: Turkey slams Greece for…”illegally” arming 16 Aegean islands!

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar asked Greece to “demilitarize” 16 Aegean islands near Turkey as he claims they have been illegally armed, in a move that may exacerbate strains in the countries’ relations.

“We expect Greece to act in line with international law and the agreements it has signed”, state-run Anadolu Agency cited Akar as saying in Ankara on Wednesday.

The two neighbors are already at loggerheads over offshore natural-gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions over conflicting claims have escalated since Turkey and Libya signed a contentious agreement last year that delineates maritime borders and affirms claims of sovereignty over areas of the Mediterranean.

Turkey’s claims could make it more difficult and costly to build a planned natural-gas pipeline that could link the eastern Mediterranean basin with European markets through Cyprus, Greece and Italy.

Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, came close to conflict in 1996 over a pair of uninhabited islets in the Aegean.

Source: Bloomberg