WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) welcomes a commentary titled “Kastelorizo: Mediterranean Flashpoint?” by Daniel Pipes, president, Middle East Forum and Taube Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, which was published in The Washington Times on Feb. 9, 2012.
“We believe it is important to share commentaries such as Mr. Pipes’ with the community because they accurately pinpoint how Turkey’s foreign policy has become increasingly bellicose and aggressive, which is to the detriment of U.S. interests in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East,” said AHI President Nick Larigakis. “We welcome these points of view. We encourage the community to share them widely with colleagues, friends, and family.”
Pipes writes: “Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling AKP party colleagues accept Greek control of Kastelorizo and its six nautical miles of territorial waters, but not more and certainly not its full EEZ rights. Indeed, in their eyes, Greek assertion of an EEZ constitutes a casus belli. By neutering Kastelorizo, Ankara can lay claim to a large economic area in the Mediterranean and block cooperation among its adversaries. This is why the island could become a flashpoint.”
Pipes correctly cites increased Turkish belligerence and aggressiveness toward Cyprus, Israel, Iraq, and Syria since the AKP government took full control of the Turkish army in July, added Larigakis.
Pipes was the Keynote Speaker for AHI’s policy forum, “The Evolution of Turkey’s Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Implications for U.S. Interests” held February 6, 2012 in Washington.