EK I : 29 Ocak 1996 Tarihli Türk Notası
REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
DHGY - IIThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of Greece and with reference to the Latter's Note dated 9 January 1996, No: 155/3/50. has the honour to bring to the Embassy's attention the following:
The Turkish - Italian Agreement of 4 January 1932 and the subsequent Protocol dated 28 December 1932 concerning the possession of the small southeastern islands in the Aegean and the delimitation of territorial waters in the region have been negotiated within the context of the particular political situation of the pre-Second World War era. The first Agreement duos not concern Kardak rocks. A reference was made to Kardak rocks in the December 1932 protocol. However, the legal procedures with regard to the 1932 Protocol were not completed. It was not also registered with the League of Nations. In addition, the Greek proposal submitted during the negotiation of the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty to make a reference to the above mentioned two documents was not accepted, and no such reference was included in the text of the Treaty, due to the legal status of these documents. The fact that Greece has approached the Turkish Government in 1950 and yet again in 1953 proposing talks with a view to exchanging letters between the two Governments ascertaining the validity of the above mentioned two documents between Turkey and Greece shows that Greece herself had doubts as to the validity the said documents.
The only document that may be referred to regarding the Dodecanese Islands is the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty. The said Treaty by its Article 14.1 stipulates that Italy has ceded to Greece the Dodecanese Islands and enumerates them in name one by one. The same Article also includes "adjacent islets" to those indicated by name. The text of the relevant Article is given hereunder:
"Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese Islands indicated hereafter, namely Stampalia (Astropalia), Rhodes (Rhodos), Calki (Kharki), Scarpanto, Casos (Casso), Piscopis (Tilos), Misiros (Nisyros) Calimnos (Kalymnos), Leros, Patmos, Lipsos (Lipso), Simi (Symi), Cos (Kos) and Castellorizo, as well as the adjacent islets."
The Kardak rocks which lie 5.5 nautical miles away from the nearest Greek island can neither be defined as being adjacent nor could they be termed as islets. In this context, the Kardak rocks which lie at 3.8 nautical miles off the Turkish mainland belong to Turkey and the Greek challenge to Turkish sovereignty can not be sustained under international law.
Furthermore, when attempting to evoke an Article of any Treaty to assume rights, one should also fulfil in good faith the obligations that emanate therefrom. In this context the Ministry would like to remind the Embassy that Article 14.2 of the Paris Peace Treaty stipulates in unequivocal terms that the Dodecanese Islands shall be and shall remain demilitarized.
The Ministry also deems it necessary to underline that any national legislation, such as the Greek Law 518 dated 3/9 January 1948, entails no legal consequences in international law.
In view of the foregoing the Ministry can in no way accept the Greek claims as set out in the above referred Note. It is evident that Greece is attempting to extend her sovereignty to islands beyond those ceded to her by the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.
In the light of this background, it is obvious that the possession of small island, islets and rocks in the Aegean has yet to be determined by agreement. Therefore, attempts by Greece to inhabit the small islands, islets and rocks in question in an artificial and demonstrative fashion can in no way create any legal consequences in regard to their status.
The Government of Turkey is ready to enter into negotiations with Greece with a view to determining the possession of small islands, islets and rocks in the Aegean. After such negotiations the issue of the delimitation of the territorial waters could also be discussed and finalized. In the meantime the Ministry would like to suggest that the parties should refrain from any unilateral act that would aggravate the situation in the region.
In this context, Turkey requests that the unfortunate deployment of Greek troops on the Kardak rocks be terminated and all signs of sovereignty be removed without delay.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of Greece the assurances of its highest considerations.
Ankara, 29 January 1996