Turkey asks Greece to drop Aegean territo rial claims
Athens should give up its claims over disputed Aegean Sea territory in return for Ankara changing its national security policy to remove Greece from its threat list, argued Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday. "Turkey will not take a unilateral step on the 12-mile issue," Davutoglu told news channel NTV, referring to any possible move by Athens to expand its territorial waters to 12 miles offshore, which Turkey opposes. Saying that Turkey has made serious changes in its relations with its neighbors, Davutoglu added that bilateral steps by Turkey and Greece would improve the two countries' attitudes toward each other. "There is a detente in relations," he said. "Our new approach emphasizes vision over threats." He added, however, that Turkey expects Greece to reverse claims on the Aegean made by the Greek Parliament, and that the Turkish government and military are united on this point. "We have one foreign policy, not two," Davutoglu said. Turkish media reported last week that in one of the most significant security reviews since the Cold War, Ankara is set to remove Russia, Iran, Iraq and Greece from a list of countries considered threats to national security. The change to the country's National Security Document, also known as the "secret constitution," is seen as an outgrowth of the "zero problems with neighbors" foreign policy championed by Davutoglu. The government, National Intelligence Organization (MIT), and General Staff have been working on adjustments to the document, which includes both internal and external threats to national security, and are expected to be completed next month.