Greek president's visit to remote isle sends pro-govt Turkish media into a frenzy

Monday, 29 June 2020 23:51
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A visit by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Tuesday to a remote eastern Aegean island generated a veritable media "frenzy" in neighboring Turkey, with pro-government outlets - which now smother the airwaves and press in the country - calling the isle, Agathonisi, as "Greek-occupied".

The small islet, the northernmost of the Dodecanese chain, has roughly 100 permanent residents, a mayor and a small national guard contingent.

It's among a handful of small eastern Aegean islands that official Ankara has over the past decade or so considered of "disputed status".

All of the Dodecanese islands in the southeast Aegean were formally annexed by Greece via an international treaty two years after the end of WWII, as the wartime victor received their sovereignty from Italy, who was on the losing Axis side during the global conflict. All of the islands have been part of the Hellenic world for millennia, with only a small Muslim minority found on Rhodes and two predominately Muslim villages cited on the island of Kos - communities dating from nearly three and a half centuries of Ottoman rule.

In a dedication in a guest book at the town hall, Sakellaropoulou expressed thanks to the guardians of Greece's borders, "the warriors of the frontline, who with determination, calm-headedness, self-sacrifice and high morale defend our national integrity and sovereign rights, without flinching in the face of provocations and threats."

The Greek president later arrived on the larger Lipsous island.

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