chapter  4
20 Pages

The unresolved Aegean dispute

Problems and prospects
ByAlexis Heraclides

The Aegean dispute between Greece and Turkey, which commenced in February 1974, remains unresolved, despite several attempts at a settlement and has produced three crises on the brink of war from 1976 until 1996, one in each decade. The unresolved Aegean conflict, in the middle of its fifth decade, comprises mainly six disputes. The disputes are delimitation of the Aegean continental shelf, the breadth of the Greek territorial sea, the breadth of Greek national airspace, the international demilitarization status of the eastern Greek islands, the sovereignty of the two Imia/Kardak islets and the dispute over the sovereignty of small islets and rocks raised by Turkey, and the rights and obligations related to the Athens Flight Information Region. The Aegean dispute has been a constant preoccupation of diplomacy, a headache for the military of both countries, and a recurring source of tension. The Aegean peace process stumbles on substantive as well as procedural hurdles associated with a final settlement.