Ana sayfa Editörün Seçtikleri The Aegean Question: Simple questions, difficult answers

The Aegean Question: Simple questions, difficult answers

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Looking back at the past makes it easier to understand what is going on today and to predict what will happen tomorrow. Winding back the clock, not even too far back into the past, but just back to the 19th century, imperial nations, or imperialist powers, had their eyes on the last remaining Ottoman lands and today it is fairly obvious that similar efforts are underway. Aegean Questions

The unchanging reality of these imperialist powers was to first destroy their victims – those nations that they have set their eyes on – from the inside so that they wouldn’t be able to develop, and doing this through all sorts of ruses, and then instating their own supporters to key positions in those countries and finally leaving those nations vulnerable to external blows by using various instruments to torture oppressed societies through perceptions and lies, and then deal one blow after another onto them in their weakest moment..

These imperial powers are allergic to fully independent nations that are self-sufficient.

At the same time, the insatiable appetite of imperial powers is continuing to balloon in the 21st century, as if humanity hasn’t learned anything from the grievances of the past. This is why they use their agents to drag societies into ignorance and then exploit that ignorance and cause all their values and beliefs to erode at the expense of destroying those nations, and then they put their plans into action.

Are we still asking today the following question today?
What was the breakup of Yugoslavia for and hence what was the reason for the human tragedies during its disintegration? Could the answer to this question be that the appetite of “great powers” is never satisfied?

“They are only looking out for the interests of their own people and state,” one might answer. But does that make them innocent or a monster? In order to protect their own nations, they ensure that other nations are deprived of all their human values and liberties and are even destroyed, wounding the values of the long-held values of these nations using manufactured incidents; they stir up regions and then attack those nations in their weakest moment like hyenas that have set an ambush. They displace millions of people, and then they say “oops sorry” and move onto their next victim. The ravaged nations they leave behind cannot stand back up for years to come…

Korea, Uganda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, countries of North Africa, Kazakhstan, Karabakh and now Ukraine… Which country will be the next target? Is this what one calls civilization? Aegean Questions

During The Turkish War of Independence when Greek soldiers were attacking our nation, some Armenian soldiers that were the agents of the British collaborated with the Greeks, killing hundreds of civilians, commiting war cimres as they wihtdrew, and raped hundreds of children and women in front of their own family members? Those who consider themselves to be “great powers” ignored these war crimes. And later, both the Greeks and Armenians tried to judge the Turks, not knowing their limits. When they are insolently repeating these lies, they can’t confront their own dark history. So we ask, “is this your civilization”?

And now, they are encouraging our neighbor Greece to be hostile. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, received a standing ovation in the US Congress because of his anti-Turkey remarks. Members of the congress of the US, which says it is an “ally” of Turkey when it needs to, gave anti Turkish remarks a standing ovation.

Looking at this from Turkey, a NATO member, brings two questions to our minds. Jens Stoltenberg, who served as the Chairman of the Labor Party in Norway, served as prime minister between 2000 and 2009. The appointment of NATO’s 13th Secretary General Stoltenberg as the new chairman of the Central Bank of Norway, had caused some controversy in Norway.1

While the whole world was following the NATO membership process of Sweden and Finland, which emerged as a topic after the war in Ukraine, Greek PM Mitsotakis was applauded many times for his anti-Turkey speech at the US Congress. What was Mitsotakis after in the US? Was he there to promote his country’s futile megali idea? Or… Is Mitsotakis betting on becoming the next NATO Secretary General after Stoltenberg and trying to attract attention. These questions do come to mind. Can this be possible? Time will show..

The developed(!) West will one day realize that the sun rises from the east. I hope it won’t be too late for humanity then.

Can the US and the UK be trusted?
While the painful memories of artificially created regional wars from the 18th, 19th and even 20th centuries are still fresh, the imperialist monsters are still weaving a new web so that new grievances can come about.

In the past, the United Kingdom was the biggest supporter of Greece. Italy, ignoring the Treaty of Ouchy, which it had signed with Turkey, joined in the triple alliance through a British plot. Let’s remember how England set up the plot. Signing the London Peace Treaty, the UK had solved the Crete problem. On 14 December 1913, the King Constanined hoisted the Greek flag on the island of Crete. The great powers had not yet solved the problem with the remaining Aegean Islands under Ottoman rule, but the UK had sparked the idea that the islands should be given to Greece, with the exceptions of Gökçeada and Bozcaada. It tirelessly imposed this idea on the other powers. Gökçeada and Bozcaada were left to the Ottomans to appease Russia; to reassure Russia – not the Ottoman Empire – because the Çanakkale and Istanbul Straits (Turkish Straits) and the Black Sea were sensitive issues for Russia. The British Foreign Secretary of the time, Sir Edward Gray, first told of his thoughts to France on 10 June 1913. Gökçeada and Bozcaada, at the entrance to the Çanakkale Straits, should have been returned to Turkey, while the other islands should have joined Greece. The question of the islands had to be linked to the southern Albanian question and these two issues had to be resolved together.

Grey had to struggle to convince Austria, Germany and Italy in the direction of his plan. This is why he suggested linking the question of the islands to the Albania question. Italy and Austria were looking out for their own interests, not wanting Greece to have dominance on both sides of the Corfu Channel.

Britain made a significant effort to convince the six powers of Europe that its thesis was valid. Turkey could succumb to the idea, if the six powers united. Certainly, Britain was only conducting these efforts to serve its interests. But Greece was most grateful to Britain.

For Britain, it was going to be child’s play to leave Greece to keep watch over the islands and then use them as it wanted if it needed them. An example? About three years after this, in 1915, when Britain attacked the Çanakkale, it used the Lemnos Island under Greek occupation as a base2.

And coming to our day, what is Greece up to? It is deploying weapons on the 18 islands, in violation of the Lausanne Peace Treaty.  Turkey’s position on these issues is clear (the Islands, Islets And Rocks in the Aegean Which Were Not Ceded To Greece By International Treaties (EGEAYDAAK) are one of the nine theses that Turkey asserts).  Aren’t things the same as they were 100 years ago? The US has set up a military base in Dedeağaç (Alexandroupolis) and will soon set up one on Girit (Crete).

What did those great(!) states achieve through diplomatic and political moves
The Ottoman Empire was driven out of the southern Mediterranean and African coasts, but Turkey has the longest Mediterranean coast in this area. 

Is the situation any different today? Vicious and aggressive Greek jets do not want Turkey in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, and they don’t even hide this fact. For example, when Turkish war planes justifiably respond to Greece’s dozens of violations to Turkey’s airspace over the Aegean, they shed fake tears prolonging their high-pitched lies before the US congress like school -aged children and continue deceiving the entire world.

Will there be activity in the Balkans?
Let’s remember what Italy had imposed prior the Ouchy Treaty being sign: The Ottoman Empire would withdraw from Libya so that not a single soldier would remain in Libya, but 14 islands, dubbed as “12 Islands” *, would be left to Turkey, which prioritized the security of Anatolia. Has the Ouchy Peace Treaty been honored? Of course not. What was going on in the Balkans while Italy occupied the 12 Islands at the time?

The Balkans were in a flux. Area countries agreed not to attack each other. This was in 1912. The Serbian-Bulgarian Military Alliance was signed on 29 April, the Greco-Bulgarian Military Alliance Treaty on 16 May, and the Serbia-Montenegro Alliance on 12 October. In the background, the British directed the game, but they didn’t directly carry out an occupation. All of these really happened. It is all true…3

The main purpose during the London peace talks was to cut off Turkey from the Aegean. And how is it now?

In Turkey, whether it makes sense to continue exploratory talks with Greece in 2021 since the previous 60 rounds of talks had been a disaster. Now our neighbor Greece , relying on the strength of the US, is employing daring language. It is making a mistake again.

After the War of Independence, Turkey tore away the Sevres Treaty and on 24 July 1923, the Lausanne Peace Treaty was signed between the representatives of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and representatives of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Belgium and Yugoslavia.

The prominent heading covered by the Treaty included several issues including the National Pact, the border between Turkey and Greece, the issues of Straits, Islands, Turkey-Syria border, Turkey-Iraq border, Turkey-Iran border, Capitulations, Minorities (non-Muslims) and Reparations.

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey government prioritized preventing the establishment of an Armenian state on Turkish soil, to abolish the capitulations, to resolve the joint problems between Turkey and European states, such as the issues of Western Thrace, Aegean Islands, the Straits issue between Turkey and Greece, and the question of population exchange. Also, we haven’t forgotten, and let’s recall this fact: Britain violated the treaty regarding Mosul; and treated it as a fait accompli.

The most widely discussed heading was the issue of the Straits. The League of Nations was established, blocking access of the Turkish military to the İstanbul and Çanakkale Straits (Turkish Straits). Here, our great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who, using his great genius, said “Independence is my character” and saved our land from the enemy, and saved the noble Turkish nation from captivity and protected the dignity of our centuries-old values, first with the Treaty of Lausanne and then with the Montreux Convention on the Straits. For this reason, the Montreux Turkish Straits Convention, as a continuation of Lausanne, is important for the interests of our country.

Is the Lausanne Treaty being honored?
A simple question. Who is not honoring it? Particularly Greece… Who is condoning this? The answer is easy, it’s been documented.

The main actor, the United Kingdom, which did not want to lose its strong influence over exploitation in the Middle East and India at the time, today shares the stage with the United State. Let’s recall that the UK was the last country to ratify the Treaty of Lausanne(July 16, 1924). In the Lausanne Peace Treaty, the “Minority” Clause was designated for non-Muslims. All minorities were accepted as Turkish nationals and it was stated that no privileges would be granted.

Just as they wanted to block Turkish access to the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas in 1912, they do not hide their attempts to do the same today. As I said above: they are weaving their webs for this to happen. In the recent past, they were implementing other plots, but now – apparently – the games they play are different, but the real intentions never change. They deplete our energy. They consume our demographic structure by eroding our cultural values ​​by stirring ethnic conflicts and crowding asylum seekers into our country. Because our potential is very high, if we stand together, it is clear what will happen.

This is why they keep bringing back the issue of “democratization” which in reality is imposing a feudal structure in a way that would only serve their own interests, and openly support terrorism. As can be seen in the latest developments especially in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, they display the same attitude using aggressive political rhetoric and actual behavior in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.

Can this wishy-washy face be trusted?
Doesn’t the US and EU partnership with the PKK/PYD/YPG reveal their insincerity? Is it acceptable that Finland and Sweden, which have applied for NATO membership, do not consider the PYD a terrorist organization?

Aren’t Western countries, especially the USA and the UK, and Germany, Norway and others aiding the PKK terrorist organization?

It would be wise not to fall into the same traps again by getting carried away in the rhetoric of the country which loudly spoke of its Greater Middle East Project and then with the Arab Spring and its aftermath which left Turkey to deal with the refugee crisis – or even created the refugee crisis – Turkey is facing now .

Turkey should first seriously reevaluate the US’s close partnership with the terrorist organization PKK/YPG/PYD and its assertion that its “allies” with Turkey.

Knowing full well that the West is great at putting all the blame on the oppressed and disadvantaged although they continue to commit their barbarian acts collectively among themselves as they have done in the past centuries, I wish that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s vision of “Peace at home, Peace in the world” – a gift to the entire world — will be embraced by humanity never to let go of it.


2-3 Bilâl fiimflir, Aegean Question Documents Volume II (1913-1914), Atatürk Cultural, Language and History Center, (AYK), Turkish History Institute Publications, 1989.

*The name “Dodecanese” meaning “The Twelve Islands”, denotes today an island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea, comprising several major islands (Agathonisi, Astypalaia, Chalki, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Lipsi, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Rhodes, Symi, and Tilos) and 93 smaller islets.Since Antiquity, these islands formed part of the group known as the “Southern Sporades” .

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