From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Aegean Sea
Mains level : NA
Turkey has warned Greece to demilitarise islands in the Aegean Sea.
What is the news?
- Turkey says Greece has been building a military presence in violation of treaties that guarantee the unarmed status of the Aegean islands.
- It argues the islands were ceded to Greece on the condition they remained demilitarized.
Where is the Aegean Sea?
- The Aegean Sea has a surface area of about 215,000 km2 and a depth of 3,544 m at the deepest end.
- It has a maximum length of about 700 km and a width of 400 km.
- The Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits connect the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea respectively.
- The Aegean is subdivided into the Myrtoan Sea and the Thracian Sea and lies on the African and Eurasian tectonic plates’ collision path.
Control of the region
- The sea is situated between the Anatolia and Balkan peninsulas and lies between Turkey and Greece.
- Nine out of 12 of Greece’s administrative regions border the sea.
- Turkish provinces, such as Balikesir, Canakkale, Edirne, and Izmir, borders the Aegean to the east.
- The Aegean Sea is a source of dispute and controversy between Turkey and Greece, affecting their relationship since the 1970s.
What is the dispute?
- Greece and Turkey are NATO allies.
- However they have a history of disputes over a range of issues, including mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea.
- Greece maintains Turkey has deliberately misinterpreted the treaties and says it has legal grounds to defend itself following hostile actions by Ankara.