The demilitarization of the islands and the need for Turkey to take measures similar to those it took in the Imia crisis is mentioned, among other things, in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Sozcu by Naim Baburoglu, retired and professor at the University of Aydin.
In the interview entitled: “The hottest Greek danger: Lesbos, Samos and Alexandroupolis”, it is noted, among other things, that “the measures taken during the Imian crisis in 1996 are coercive diplomacy. Turkey should now take some similar measures on these islands.”
As Baburoglu claims, among others: “Greece unilaterally violated the demilitarized regime, not only by maintaining troops but also by converting them [σσ. νησιά] in weapons depots. There is Lesvos, Samos, which we are discussing at the moment. Armored vehicles donated by the US have landed here. There is a division in Lesvos, which means there are 7,500 soldiers. There is a brigade in Samos.”
He also stated that: “The islands have been equipped since 1960 and their status has deteriorated. But especially in the last 10-15 years, the regime has started to deteriorate rapidly.”
According to Bapouroglu, the equipping of the islands is happening in front of Turkey’s eyes and “Greece’s hostile attitude has increased with the support of the US and the EU”.
To add in favor of retaliation and indirect criticism of the Erdogan government that “Turkey has long had a traditional policy! Hostile actions by Greece would be met with retaliation. In addition to the 23 islands, there are 152 islands, islets and rocks that have not been granted to Greece by treaty. Imia is one of them! Turkey inherited them from the Ottomans. They showed the Greek flag, Turkey decisively lowered it and raised the Turkish flag. In the military literature we call this ‘retaliation’. This is the basis of international relations.”
Commenting on what should be done, Baburoglu argued: “You will say: leave Alexandroupoli, Samos, Lesvos, the islands you armed. The National Assembly will make a decision. He will say: ‘This is an act of war.’ Greece will be given a reasonable time. He will write [σσ. η
Τουρκία] to the UN, to the EU, to NATO and will reciprocate with the same currency.”
In the interview, a relevant map is also published with the islands that Greece and the US have equipped, as supported by Ankara.