"Our national rights are at stake in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean"

"Our national rights are at stake in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean"
Date: 9.9.2019 12:00

Former Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, retired Staff Colonel Ümit Yalım, evaluated the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea to the Milli Gazete.

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Yalım mentioned the invasion moves of Greece on our borders; Turkey's ational rights and interests in the Mediterranean and Aegean are at stake," he said.
Our borders in the West Greece, Mediterranean and Turkey continues to threaten the national security moves in the Aegean Sea. For many years, constantly violating our airspace with fighter jets Greece, it began to increase their harassment in Turkey's continental shelf in recent years.
Eastern Mediterranean to try to prevent Turkey's legitimate gains Greece, in the Aegean Sea continues its de facto occupation of 18 islands and reefs in one of Turkey's sovereignty. Former Secretary General of the Ministry of National Defense, retired Colonel Ümit Yalım, evaluated the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea to the Milli Gazete correspondent Abdussamed Karataş.


The hot developments in the Eastern Mediterranean have been one of the most talked about issues in recent years. Republic of Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea east of the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Greece have attempt by the Greek Cypriot Sector. As a military expert, how would you assess the Eastern Mediterranean issue?
- Turkey has sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey, however, has always been far delayed the use of this sovereignty. There is a report issued by the United Nations Security Council, especially in 2012. In this report, it is clear that "the natural resources on and around Cyprus, including the buffer zone, belong to all Cypriots. Both communities (Turks and Greeks) will benefit from these resources." item. Turkey's not all just part of the island of Cyprus, north, south, including the buffer zone, there is no legal obstacle to the oil and gas exploration in all points. Moreover, in the period before the AKP government, the Turkish continental shelf and exclusive economic zone should have been declared in the Eastern Mediterranean. Unfortunately, the AKP government, in a letter given to the United Nations on March 18, 2019, clearly gave up our right to the continental shelf of 92 thousand square kilometers in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is not acceptable. Why, because there are five islands, five islands, 92 thousand square kilometers of continental shelf. These fields mean oil, natural gas. The abandonment of this huge area is wrong. I hope this mistake will be abandoned in the coming period.
The government sends the ship Yavuz to the controversial region and says "We do not give up our rights in the Eastern Mediterranean". Do you think that the ‘Yavuz’ vessel should carry out exploration studies on behalf of our national presence in the Eastern Mediterranean?
I don't see enough. Main region already troubled southern region... in 2012, according to a report published by the United Nations Security Council has the right to 13 plots in Turkey's southern oil and gas exploration, not only in the north, they are also looking to go there. Calls are generally made to the east of Cyprus, south of Dipkarpaz and west of Paphos. Turkey is also easily able to search the south of the island of Cyprus. There is no legal obstacle to this.
We see that the AKP government is always in a passive attitude towards the provocations of our border neighbor Greece. There is a serious occupation by Greece on our Aegean islands. As you use in your testimony, authority is shared with Greece. Does the AKP government pursue such a policy in the context of not disturbing relations with the European Union? How do you see this situation?
The European Union has no right to intervene in the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, the AKP government did not object to the maps published by the European Union on the Eastern Mediterranean issue. None of the articles and maps published in the Greek official and European Union official newspapers were objected. It is clear that 42 thousand square kilometers of continental shelf belongs to us. The government should have objected, but they didn't. On top of that, they left an area of ​​92 thousand square kilometers to Greece. Naturally, Greece, which has taken the European Union and the United States behind, is trying to prevent us from conducting seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean for our own rights and interests and extracting hydrocarbon products such as natural gas and oil.
What's going on at 18 island and one rocky island which are in Turkey's sovereignty? How did Greece occupy these areas and what are they doing to increase the dose?
Greece, Turkey's sovereignty in conducting military occupation of the island and 18 in the first rocky publicly. These islands were given to Greece by the AKP government. For the last 15 years, Greece has been constantly taking occupations to new heights. On this land, Greek soldiers and SAT commandos have been massed. In addition, heavy weapons of the Greek army were deployed to our islands. Greek flag officially the Republic of Turkey and even Byzantine territory flag waving. Passport control is applied at the entrances and exits to the islands. Greece's President and former Prime Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos Alexis Tsipras making an official visit to the islands this land openly tried to give our message to Turkey. In addition, Greece opens these places for settlement and implements financial incentive plans for their citizens to settle in these islands. By opening hotels and carrying out tourism activities on our own land, they earn a significant financial gain. They also make elections here and elect mayors from them. Although the sovereignty of Turkey see no mosque anywhere in the island under Greek occupation. There is no call to prayer. The land of the motherland is moaning with bells.
So, do you have the drive in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Greece later in the process of facing the possibility of bringing in military terms?
It is possible to solve these events without going into conflict. Why, because we have rights arising from international agreements. We have the Lausanne Agreement, the Paris Agreement. There are maps of the United States and England that are parties to this agreement. The problem is that the government cannot ask for the Aegean islands to publicly give back to Greece to find support in the negotiation process with the European Union. That's where the problem is. They can be retrieved without any conflict. The reason why the government invaded our islands without throwing a single bullet from Greece gave the government an open check. The solution is diplomatic. Emptied easily occupied the islands without any military action, and these islands are joined to the territory of the Republic of Turkey again.
The cries of sensitive individuals on national issues like you unfortunately do not draw as much attention to society as a football match or a television series. How are we going to get the public attention on these issues? What do you recommend to the public?
Homeland's land is honor. Every Turkish citizen who eats his bread and drinks his water has to protect his homeland. We will achieve this within the rules of democracy and law. All political parties with or without groups in the Assembly, as well as non-governmental organizations have a great task. For example, he was elected as the new prime minister in Greece. Greek Prime Minister to Turkey will surely come, when everyone're protesting. But there is no protest, the problem is here. Let our people take photos of the Greek soldiers on the occupied islands and show them to the Greek prime minister during the protest. It is necessary for them to be aware. On 16 May 2019, we openly condemned the Greek occupation of our islands by placing a black wreath at the Greek Consulate General in Izmir. Our sovereignty, our message to Turkey that constantly visited islands of the Greek Prime Minister and the President "was def our territory" We gave the message. We will increase the rights and interests of our country by multiplying such reactions.
Who is Ümit Yalım?
Born in 1959, retired Staff Colonel Ümit Yalım graduated from Kuleli Military High School, Turkish Military Academy Civil Engineering, Turkish Military Academy and the Armed Forces Academy. He studied English at the Defense Language School in London, England in 1997. Afterwards, Yalım worked as a military operations officer in Amman, Jordan, and as a school commander in the Land Forces Language School in Jordan. He served as the Secretary General of the Ministry of National Defense between 2009-2010. Yalım, who holds a doctorate in political science and international relations, is trying to contribute to national awareness in the societal sense with his lectures on the Greek invasions in the Aegean islands and our rights and interests on the Eastern Mediterranean.


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