Turkish media quotes Yildirim as referring to Imia-like 'flag incident'

Monday, 16 April 2018 14:53
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An "Imia-like" flag incident was reported by Turkish media at the start of the week in the eastern Aegean, with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claiming that members of the Turkish coast guard removed a Greek flag from an unspecified rock islet.

A flag and its subsequent removal sparked the January 1996 Imia incident in the twin same-named rock islets off the island of Kalymnos. The Turkish side refers to the rock islets as "Kardak".

According to the Daily Sabah website, which carried Yildirim's comments, the rock islet lies off the resort Didim, on the Asia Minor coast.

"Our coast guard made the necessary intervention and the flag was removed ..." Yildirim reportedly said, while also calling on Greece to "avoid provocations and tension, within the framework of good-neighborly relations."

He also resurrected official Ankara's singular policy of "grey zones" in the eastern Aegean, a Turkish diplomatic tactic dating from the mid 1990s in lieu of the neighboring country's failure to consider, sign or ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In comments to "N", Fournoi islets mayor Yannis Marousis confirmed that a flag was placed on an islet, one identified as the curiously named Mikros Antropofaghos (Lesser Cannibal), which he underlined is part of his island complex, in the Ikaria district and with three permanent residents.

He also said he visited the islet on Monday and that the Greek flag was in place.

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