Greece violating treaties by arming Aegean islands: Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated that Greece is violating international treaties, namely the Lausanne Treaty, by arming the Aegean islands with demilitarized status and in proximity to the Turkish mainland.

"We observe that the Greek authorities are not complying with the Lausanne and other treaties. What do these treaties say? These islands cannot be armed," Erdoğan told reporters on Jan. 20 in Istanbul.

Erdoğan was responding to a question about Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' statement that Athens does not want a war with Türkiye and that all the problems can be resolved through dialogue.

"Mitsotakis is speaking this way but his words are not sufficient enough to determine the fate of the region," Erdoğan said, repeating Ankara's reaction against Athens' efforts to arm the islands close to the Turkish mainland.

"By arming these islands, Greece is violating Lausanne Treaty, as well as other treaties. But we are taking necessary steps at international organizations at the right place and right time," the president stressed.

Türkiye and Greece have long been at odds over the problems stemming from the Aegean and Mediterranean where the two sides' claims over territorial waters and sovereign rights overlap.

Election process may begin on March 10

On a question about the election process, after he signaled that the polls may take place on May 14, Erdoğan recalled that he has the authority to take the country to the elections through a decree.

"Let's say we declare the election date on March 10, then the Supreme Election Board (YSK) launches a 60-day process to hold the elections. After that day [March 10], the YSK controls the process," he stated.

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