The Aegean Status-Quo-Historical Perspective

1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty established a delicate balance between Turkey and Greece by harmonizing the vital interests and legitimate rights of both countries including those in the Aegean Sea. The basic thinking of the Lausanne Treaty was to grant limited areas of maritime jurisdiction to the coastal states and leave the remaining parts of the Aegean to the common benefit of Turkey and Greece.

Turkey fully respects the provisions of Lausanne and in return expects Greece to act in the same manner. It is clear that if one of the littoral states unilaterally extends its jurisdiction in the Aegean and deprives the other coastal state from exercising its existing rights, it is no longer possible to speak of the Lausanne balance in the Aegean.

However, Greece has been tilting the Lausanne balance through unilateral acts to the detriment of Turkey's vital interests since 1930's.