The physical and legal characteristics of the
Aegean Sea is one set of elements that epitomise the very essence of the Aegean disputes. By virtue of this, it is essential that they be reviewed and clarified at the outset in order to comprehend why these disputes, especially those related to maritime matters, have emerged in the first place and have not been resolved so far. Part I aims at exploring these characteristics in order to establish the bases for considering the settlement of Aegean maritime disputes on the basis of international law.
A. Physical Characteristics of the
1. Geographical Features of the
1.1 The Geography of the
Although the Aegean Sea is given a distinct name, the “Aegean”, it is in fact only a part of a wider sea area, the
It is surrounded exclusively by the territories of
The Aegean coasts are mostly indented with various geographical features such as gulfs, reefs, capes and surrounded by numerous coastal islands, islets and rocks. The only exception is the Greek coastline that surrounds the
The overall size of the
Although the Aegean Sea is surrounded exclusively by the coasts of
The most distinctive geographical characteristic of the
Characterised by such geographical features, the
1.2. Geographical characteristics of the Aegean islands
The Aegean islands have some distinct geographical characteristics that are significant to the settlement of Aegean maritime disputes. First of all, due to their large number, the Greek islands constitute a very significant portion of the total coastal length of
A considerable number of the Aegean islands are very small islets and rocks with no human habitation. Some of them such as Crete, Evvia, Rhodes, Lesvos, Chios, Limnos and
The Aegean islands demonstrate a special pattern in terms of their location as well and broadly constitute certain groups. They first group of islands is situated in the eastern section of an imaginary median line between the mainlands of
The first sub-group is situated in the northeast
The second sub-group is situated in the southeast Aegean Sea which is called the southeast Aegean islands or, as widely known, the
The second main category of the Aegean islands is situated to the west of the median line. These islands may accordingly be called the western Aegean islands. Unlike the eastern Aegean islands, they all belong to
The geographical characteristics of the Aegean islands in terms of coastal length, size and location are therefore quite diverse. Some islands are very small or very large in size, or very close to the mainland or quite far away from it. These factors are significantly relevant to the determination of the role of islands within a delimitation process in general and thus within the delimitation in the
2. Socio-Economic Characteristics of the
As already noted above, the Aegean Sea is located at the heart of some major navigational roads connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and the
The review on the socio-economic characteristics of the
2.2. The Aegean islands
Unlike the mainland coasts, the Aegean islands do not have large populations. The population of the islands, especially those in the eastern
However, developing tourism in the region and the growing unemployment in those European countries allowing emigration have caused improvements in the demography in the last two decades. While the population of the eastern Aegean islands was 428,533 in 1981, it had gone up to 456,712 by 1991. It thus signifies a shift towards an increasing population in the last two decades. The rate of the immigration to the islands is now higher than the average to the mainland.
However, the size of the population, which is no more than one and half million, is still not high compared to the overall picture. Excluding Evvia, which could be considered as being integrated into the mainland, the Aegean islands constitute around 10% of the total Greek population. The population of the eastern Aegean islands which are closer to the Turkish mainland constitutes only 5% of
The economy of the islands has always been confined to agriculture, producing traditional products such as olives, wheat, wine, tobacco and mastic. Fisheries has not been important in the economic livelihood of the islanders, as the
The only improvement has been the developing tourism in recent years. In 1984, only 5.5 million tourists visited
3. Under-Water Structure of the
Like the above factors, the factors that are related to the sea-bed features of the
3.1. Oceanic and continental crusts
The earth’s crust is divided into “continental” and “oceanic” crusts in general terms. They are separated from each other on the basis of distinct physical and compositional characteristics. In physical terms, while the continental crust is between 30-80 km in depth, the oceanic crust is only 8 km in depth. On the surface, oceanic basins are characterised in physical terms by circum-oceanic systems of abyssal plains that are occasionally dented by trenches and ridges. These sediment-covered abyssal plains lie between the ridges and trenches, or between a variety of hills and plateaux, some of which break the water surface as islands. In compositional terms, the continental crust is rich in silicon and aluminium while the oceanic crust is relatively poorer in these substances.
The physical and compositional differences between the oceanic and the continental crusts seem to be the natural consequences of how and when they were formed over a period of millions of years as in the case of any other structures in the earth’s crust. It is undisputed that the continental crust is much older than the oceanic crust. However, theories differ how they have evolved. According to an early theory of the “continental drift”, various super-continents existed in the past, to be split apart and amalgamated many times. However, this is not considered to be a convincing explanation due to the lack of a reasonable mechanism for the process. “Plate tectonics” is the most-approved theory, according to which about twenty major rigid “plates” in the “lithosphere” of the earth are all in motion with respect to adjoining plates at speeds of several centimetres per year.
Generally speaking, as far as the motions between the oceanic and the continental crusts are concerned, the ocean plate, which is more rigid, moves gradually over a long period of time underneath the continental plate which is relatively less rigid. Eventually, as the oceanic plate goes underneath the continental crust, volcanic and/or tectonic activities emerge, which cause volcanic eruption or arc-shaped protuberances on the surface. Such a process seems to be capable of explaining how the earth’s crust has evolved into many different shapes including the emergence and disappearances of new sea areas.
The continental and oceanic crusts are not however separated from each other on the shore. They are separated from each other on the basis of certain characteristics. In between the ocean basin and the continent there exists an area called the “continental margin”. It is in fact regarded as the extension of the continents underneath the water as a part of it. In terms of shape and composition, the continental margin is different from the ocean basin and is more reminiscent of the continental crust.
The continental margin is divided into there separate units. These are the “continental shelf”, the “continental slope” and the “continental rise”. The continental shelf extends from the shore to a depth of 120-180 metres below sea-level. From the reach of the continental shelf, the surface drops markedly as a submarine slope thus called the continental slope. It goes down to a depth of 1800 metres on average. Then its slant becomes less, and the continental rise at the foot of the continental slope leads gently to the ocean floor.
3.2. Conflicting views of
Despite such a straightforward definition, it may be difficult in many sea areas to separate where the oceanic crust starts and where the continental crust, as signified by the continental margin underneath the sea, ends. It seems that the Aegean Sea constitutes such a case given the fact that there are conflicting opinions on defining a line which would separate continental and oceanic crusts in the
On the other hand, according to
These geomorphological facts, according to
3.3. The Aegean sea-floor
The Aegean Sea is different even from the rest of the
The characteristics of the Aegean sea-bed, like any other sea areas, are closely linked to when the
The approach of both theories is in fact similar in the sense that the
However some still believe that there is a process of oceanisation in the area which lies through the
These views seem to be based on the second theory mentioned above that provides that the Aegean plate is separated from that of the
Most of the Turkish scientists believe that said zone in the
On the other hand, some studies have revealed a geological unity between the islands in the eastern
Consequently, the characteristics of the Aegean Sea do not present a clear separation between the oceanic and continental crusts, so that natural prolongations of
B. Legal Characteristics of the
As indicated in the Introduction, the legal status of the
How the disagreements have developed and what elements are involved in the settled and unsettled issues are quite relevant for both the description of the maritime disputes and the examination of possible legal settlements, which are reviewed next.
1. Sovereignty over the
1.1. The settled aspects
The sovereignty over the Aegean islands was established with various international accords in the years after
The situation was further changed during the Italio-Turkish War of 1911-12. When
During the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, the rest of the eastern Aegean islands were occupied by
The Lausanne Peace Treaty, one of the instruments which were concluded by the Lausanne Peace Conference, confirmed these previous regulations. According to the Treaty, only the islands of Imbros, Tenedos, the
The final development concerning the regulations on the sovereignty over the Aegean islands took place after World War II. During the War, all the Aegean islands fell under German occupation in 1941. However, the Aegean islands were later captured by the Allies. After the War, the islands that were under Greek sovereignty before the War were returned to
As a result of all these developments,
1.2. The disputed aspects
It seems, however, that the above treaties have not settled the sovereignty issue in the
The major disagreement concerns certain articles in the Lausanne Peace Treaty. Article 12 of the Treaty provides that all the eastern Aegean islands, except for the islands of Gökçeada, Bozcaada,
Article 12 of the Lausanne Treaty is perceived by
The same article is however interpreted quite differently by
It seems that the two States are also in disagreement over the interpretation of other international agreements relating to the Aegean islands. A Turkish registered ship ran aground on 25 December 1995 on the Kardak (İkizce) Rocks, named Imia (Limnia) Rocks by
The Kardak Rocks are situated in the southeast
When the Lausanne Peace Treaty confirmed the Italian sovereignty over these islands, it did not mention by name all the islands, especially those that are relatively very small.
The two countries later signed a protocol (procés-verbal) on 28 December of the same year which mentioned the Kardak Rocks as being to the west of the delimitation line, and thus as belonging to Italy.
The second basis of this Greek contention is Article 12 of the Lausanne Peace Treaty which left
In the final account, sovereignty over some islands in the
2. Demilitarised Status of Some
Various international conventions regulating the status of the Aegean islands provide for the demilitarisation of the eastern Aegean islands near the Turkish mainland. For the sake of a clear understanding of the issue, it is necessary to classify them according to the related international agreements.
As authorised by
Article 12 of the Lausanne Treaty approved the Decision of the Great Powers. Moreover, Article 13 of the Treaty specifically provided that the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and
The Lausanne Convention on Straits, which was signed at the same time as the Lausanne Peace Treaty, provided for demilitarisation of certain areas around the straits concerned and put some more military restrictions on the islands which were situated in the mouth of the
A new convention on the Turkish straits was signed in 1936, called the Montreux Convention on Straits, which inaugurated a new regime for the straits. Although it concerns the same straits and abolishes the demilitarisation of all the areas around the straits, it does not explicitly abolish the demilitarisation status of the islands of Samothrace, Limnos, Gökçeada, Bozcaada and
Another international agreement that provides for demilitarisation of some other eastern Aegean islands is the 1947 Treaty of Paris which ceded the Dodecanese group to
Despite all these regulations,
Therefore it has yet to be determined whether
 See Part II, A 2.
 For the roles that the characteristics of a geographical area play in legal settlement of the related disputes, see Part IV, D; Part VI, C and D.
 The the name is said to be from Aigeus, the King of Attika. See, Belen, (1995), p. 2. The name “Aegean” is also used to name Bronze Age civilisations that arose in and around the Aegean Sea between 3,000 and 1000 BC. Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. I. 1982, p. 111.
 The Mediterranean Sea stretches for more than 2,500 miles between the Israel-Lebanon-Syria coastline to the east and its narrow link to the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Strait of Gibraltar. The Aegean Sea is in an area between 41-350 north latitude and 23-270 east longitude.
 For a general view, see Appendix I, Map 1.
 In that region (the Thrace), Turkey and Greece have a 203 km-long territorial border. Statistical Yearbook of Turkey, 1996, p. 4.
 For the indentations on the coast of the two countries, see Appendix I, Map 1.
 The Aegean Sea is in this sense similar to the Adriatic Sea which is another arm of the Mediterranean Sea. See Appendix I, Map 1.
 For the figures as to the size of the Aegean Sea, see Appendix II, Table 1.
 The number of islands in the Aegean Sea are said to be around 3,200. See, Appendix II, Table 2.
 See infra, A 2.1.
 For the areas which are relatively island-free, see generally Appendix I, Map 1.
 See Appendix II, Table 2. The coastline of Greek islands in the Ionian Sea is about 1,119 km. For the coastline of different groups of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, see Appendix II, Tables 3, 4, 5, and 6.
 See Appendix II, Table 2.
 See Appendix II, Table 8. While the Aegean islands have 679 km-long coastline, coastlines of the islands in the Black Sea and the islands in the Mediterranean Sea are 6 km and 130 km respectively. Statistical Yearbook of Turkey, 1996, p. 4. The Aegean coastlines of Turkey are 2,815 km in extent.
 Altogether, the coastline of all the Turkish islands constitutes a 1,067 km-long coastline.
 The diversity between the Aegean islands in terms of their size is reflected in the Tables 3 to 8, Appendix II.
 This group of islands excluding the Turkish islands of Bozcaada and Gökçeada is known by Greece the “Aegean Islands”. For these islands, see Appendix II, Table 3.
 These are Agois Efstratios, Limnos, Samothraki, Ikaria, and Antipsara.
 See Appendix I, Map 1. These islands are also called the South Sporadhes. For the major islands of this group, see Appendix II, Table 4.
 These islands are: Gaidaros, Arki, Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, Kalolimnos,, Kos, Nissyros, Yiali, Symi, Tilos, Chalki, Alimia, and Castellorizo (Meis).
 Such as Levitha, Kinaros, Karpathos, Astypalea and Kassos.
 For the distance between the Turkish mainland and some of these islands, see Appendix I, Map 3.
 See Appendix I, Map 1. Named the North Sporadhes (Voriai Sporadhes) by Greece, these islands are as follows: Skiros (Sykros), Skopelos (Skopelos), Alonissos, Skiathos, Kyra Panagia, Peristera, and Yiura (Yura). Statistical Yearbook of Greece, 1996. pp. 28-29.; The Times, Concise Atlas of the World, pp. 46-47.
 Such as Skiathos and Skopelos.
 Named the Kyklades by Greece, they are as follows: Naxos, Andros, Paros, Tinos, Milos, Kea, Amorgos, Ios, Kythnos, Mykonos, Syros, Sifnos, Thira, Serifos, Sikinos, Anafi, Kimonos, Antiparos, Folegandros, Iraklia, Yaros, Makronissos, Polyegos, Keros, Rinia, Donoussa, Thirassia, Despotiko, Dilos. Statistical Yearbook of Greece, 1996. pp. 28-29; The Times, Concise Atlas of the World, pp. 46-47.
 Such as Kea, Andros and Kythnos.
 Many others, i.e. Serifos, Milos, Folegandros, are half way between the median line and the Greek mainland. Only a few of them are located in the east of the median line and close to it such as Donoussa, Karos, Amorgos, Anidhros, Ofidusa, Anafi, Makra and Pakia. See Appendix I, Map 1.
 Islands such as Naxox, Iraklia, Ios, Kufonisos and Thira are situated just on the median line. And some of them are only a few miles off the median line on the western side such as Paros, Tinos, Sifnos, Syros, Sikinos, Thirassia and Mykonos. See Appendix I, Map 1.
 See Appendix II, Table 7. Greece in fact divides them into two groups: The first group is called Kriti and surrounding islands, and constituted by Kriti, Gavdos and Dia. The second group called the “Islands in Mortoan (Myrtoon) Sea” and consists of Khythira, Andikithira (Antikithira)and Elafonisos (Elafonissos). These are to the southwest of Crete and can be regarded as neighbouring islands although only Andikithira is quite close to Kriti. Others are just a few miles off the Greek mainland (Peloponisos). Statistical Yearbook of Greece, 1996, pp. 28-29. Gavdos is a few miles to south of Crete and is situated to the west of the median line. Khythira, and Elafonisos are very close to the Greek mainland while Andikithira is midway between Crete and the Greek mainland.
 For the distinctive location of Crete and surrounding islands, see Appendix I, Map 1.
 See Part V, B 6.
 See Part VI, B 2. The classification among the Aegean islands according to their location in the above paragraphs is in fact different from that made by Greece. In its statistical book, Greece defines its islands in the Aegean Sea as follows: 1. Islands in Mortoan (Myrtoon) Sea. 2. North Sporades (Voriai Sporadhes) 3. Aegean Islands 4. Kyklades Islands. 5. Kriti and Surrounding Islands. 6. The Dodecanese (Dodekanissos). Statistical Yearbook of Greece, 1996. However, the classification here is only for convenience to examine the maritime matters in the Aegean.
 For the length of the mainland coasts of both parties, see Appendix II, Table 2. The capital Athens is situated on the Aegean coast of the Greek mainland. On the Turkish side, major cities like İzmir are situated on the Aegean coast. See Appendix I, Map 1.
 For the population of the Greek islands, see Appendix II, Tables 2 to 7. Although the total population of the Aegean Greek islands is around 26 times less than the population living on the Aegean coastline of Turkey alone, it is still significant since it constitutes 10% of the whole Greek population. See Appendix II, Table 2.
 Supra, A 1.1.
 Supra, A 1.1, 1.2.
 Kariotis, (1997), p. 203. See also Blake, (1984), pp. 56-60. On the Aegean Sea floor, places rich in aluminium, manganese and radioactive elements exist. Belen, (1995), p. 8; Blake, (1984), p. 57.
 However, it is noted that the research carried out in the continental shelves of the Aegean show that there is a great possibility of finding petroleum. For instance, petroleum has been traced in the east of the island of Chios. Belen, (1991), p. 17. A recent newspaper report has argued that Greece prepared a map which shows about ten prospective areas very near to the Turkish mainland. The petroleum areas near the Turkish mainland are around Saros Bay, the islands of Samothrace, Gökçeada, the east of Lesvos, the east of Chios, Samos and south of Rhodes. Other prospective areas are concentrated around the island of Thassos, Saros Bay and the island of Crete. See Zaman Daily Newspaper, 22 April 1996, p. 5.
 The oil resources which have so far been discovered are near the territorial waters of six countries in the Mediterranean; namely Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Spain, and Tunisia. As the Mediterranean countries establish exclusive economic zones, and exploration would certainly intensify especially in the areas of the eastern and central Mediterranean where the sea-bed lies under less than 1,000 metres of water. Kariotis, (1997), p. 203; See also Luciani, (1984), p. 8.
 Aegean accounted for only 3% of the whole Turkish fish production in the 1970s. Situation was slightly better where rivers joined the Aegean Sea. Some fish stocks (bonito, large bonito, mackerel, horse mackerel, sardine) came from the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea into the Aegean Sea. In 1996, for instance, the total fish caught by Turkey in the sea areas surrounding the Turkish mainland was 451,997 tons. Only 40,493 tons were caught in the Aegean Sea while 247,613 tons were caught in the Black Sea. Only 42,097 tons were from the Marmara Sea which is much smaller than the Aegean. The Mediterranean yielded 121,749 tons of fish. Fisheries Statistics of Turkey, 1996, pp. 4-5.
 The deep waters and narrow shelf of the Ionian Sea have not allowed the development of important fishing operations there. Among various fishing areas, the inshore fishery presently represents 95% of the fishing fleet of the country. Kariotis, (1997), p. 191.
 Ibid., p. 198. The Greek fish production still accounts for only 1% of its GDP and it employs only 1.2% of the labour force. In its most recent annual report, the Agricultural Bank of Greece has stressed the need to find ways of reducing the annual deficit in fish products which currently fluctuates between 40,000 to 50,000 tons. Ibid., p. 190, 192.
 It is the richest in certain fish species such as hake (bakalorya), conger eel (mırmır), pilchard (sardalya) and bogue (küpez), chup mackarel (kalyoz), grey mullet (kefal), and common sole (dil-Pisi). Fisheries Statistics of Turkey, 1996, p. 4-5.
 The population, which had been 304,000 in 1940, was reduced to 110,000 in 1971. Btween 1961 and 1971 the population of Lesvos (Midilli) was reduced to 114,000 from 140,000, that of Chios (Sakız) to 54,000 from 62,000, and that of Samos (Sisam) to 42,000 from 52,000. Erinç and Yücel, (1977), pp. 46-47; Robins and Xideas, (1996), p. 299.
 Walker, (1965), p. 367.
 About 22,000 returning migrants had settled in the east Aegean by 1986. Sixty % of repatriation migrants were economically active. Robins and Xideas, (1996), p. 298.
 Repatriation Research done by the National Statistical Service of Greece (1986), quoted in ibid., p. 308.
 For the population of the Aegean islands of Greece, see Appendix II, Tables 2 to 7. People living on the western Aegean islands (the Kyklades and the North Sporades) in 1991 were about 94,000. Statistical Yearbook of Greece, 1996, pp. 41-47. The population of the biggest island in the Aegean, Crete was 540,054 in 1991. Excluding the surrounding islands, the island of Crete has a population of 539,938. Its population was 456,642 in 1971 and 502,165 in 1981. Ibid. On the other hand, some 456,712 people were living on the eastern Aegean islands in 1991.
 Evvia is the second largest Aegean island that is almost geographically an integral part of eastern Greece. It covers an area of 3,654 km2 and had a population of 208,410 in 1991.
 See the relevant tables in Appendix II.
 Walker, (1965), pp. 367-368. The total agricultural area of the Dodecanese comprises only 12% of all the area which was 318 km2. Islands surrounding Rhodes have no agricultural area and not even drinking water. The agricultural area is very limited in Kasot and Kerpe. Most of Ilyaki (Tilos) is not suitable for agriculture. There is no such area in Leros. Meis is suitable only for animal feeding. Erinç and Yücel, (1977), pp. 59-65.
 See, ibid., p. 58-59. Only the sponge industry of Kalimnos has been worth noting. Walker, (1965), pp. 367-368.
 See supra, A 2.1.
 Growing grapes is the biggest economic activity on the island. Erinç and Yücel, (1977), pp. 98-102; Belen, (1995), p. 11.
 Only some Greek islands are able to produce enough to send agricultural products to other parts of Greece. Among them, two of the largest, Rhodes and Kos, together with Leros in the Dodecanese are exceptional for their fertility, while the Dodecanese as a whole are mostly dry and barren. Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 153.
 There is a great dependency on the mainland, in particular Athens, because of the centralised organisational structure of the public organisation, and in many cases, private sectors. Darzentas and Spyrou, (1996), p. 204.
 The UN Statistical Yearbook, 1987 and 1994, p. 736, 740 respectively. The demand for passenger ships to the islands from the mainland doubles every summer. The demand from summer to winter periods increases about 1000%. Darzentas and Spyrou, (1996), p. 204.
 Thirty-five percent of the labour force of Samos is employed by tourism. Seventy percent of Kos’s population in tourism while only 30% work in agriculture and animal breeding. Due to the development of tourism, the population of Rhodes is high almost all year. Tourism is a significant source of revenue in the island of Crete. Belen, (1995), p. 15.
 Darzentas and Spyrou, (1996), p. 205.
 See Part V, B 2.2.1; Part VI, C 1.
 The Ocean Basins: Their Structure and Evolution, pp. 27-28, 39. Deep ocean basins lie between the continental margins and the ocean ridges, representing 42% of the total oceanic area. Ibid., p. 39. The ocean floor as a whole constitutes 70% of the solid surface of the earth. Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 258.
 The submarine topography is varied more than that of the continents. In the most general terms however, we can subdivide the ocean basins into three topographical units: the continental margins, the mid-ocean ridges, and the submarine plains. Mid-ocean ridges are “submarine mountains” such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In several places, this ridge emerges above the water to form islands such as the Azores in the North Atlantic and Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 258, 259.
 The Ocean Basins: Their Structure and Evolution, pp. 27-28; Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 3; Karaköse, (1986), p. 54.
 The upper part of each plate may include both continental and oceanic crust, but the plate may descend downwards into the mantle to a depth of 200-400 km. Here the plates glide over the underlying rock, lubricated by small amounts of melted rock (magma). Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 3; Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 292.
 For the theory of plate tectonics, see Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 4; Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 292; McKenzie, (1970), p. 239.
 Thus the magmatic activity which produces a chain of islands is usually in the form of an arc, such as the Japanese islands, or less typically, the volcanic islands of the Aegean. Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 4.
 Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 259.
 Some areas, such as North America, have continental shelves of substantial width, but other places have little or practically no shelf, such as off the coast of Peru. The total area of the continental shelves is about 5% of the whole earth’s surface, or as much as one-sixth of the land area of the continents. Ibid., p. 259, 309. The continental shelves, which border the continents, are formed of thick accumulation of sediment. See The Ocean Basins: Their Structure and Evolution, p. 28.
 The continental slope marks the “real” margin of the continental landmass. This slope reaches to the ocean floor down to a depth of 1800 m on average. Greenland and De Blis, (1977), p. 259.
 One of the Greek legal advisors at the Aegean Sea Continental Shelf Case, Professor O’Connell explained: “We say that there is a continuous continental shelf in the sense of a continuous geophysical structure between the Greek peninsula and the mainland of Asia Minor. That continuity is not affected by the fact that the bathymetry would indicate more than a shelving in the ordinary sense. The sea-bed is indeed, broken by what, for want of a better description I shall call crevasses, but there is no natural break in the geophysical structure which could be regarded as creating two continental margins, one of Europe and one of Asia Minor. Even if there were, we would say that this made no difference. What we do say about the facts is that the Aegean is a depressed saucer, the mountain tops of which are the islands….” Pleadings, p. 93. See also Papakosta, (1985), p. 188.
 In the negotiations held between Greece and Turkey in Berne (Switzerland) which is the only detailed negotiations on the Aegean continental shelf issue held between the two countries, Turkey submitted the following information about the Aegean geomorphology: “Detailed mathematical maps of the Aegean Sea have been made by several institutions and are freely available. On these maps it is clearly observed that a very broad almost horizontal shallow area extends off the coast of W. Turkey into the Aegean Sea. Greek islands such as Limnos, A. Evstratios, Lesvos, Chios, Ikaria and Kos are simple elevations on the horizontal broad platform. These Anatolian coastal islands do not have any submarine morphological feature which would show that they have their own shelf....these islands have similar geology with Turkey and they are geological continuation of the Turkish mainland. ....This zone joins the eastern portions of the larger dome located south of the island of Crete. This diagonal zone divides the Aegean into two parts and around 23.50 East and 400 North. It gently turns to the East and reaches the positive anomaly zone following the Anatolian Trough.” Section of Geological Data of Turkish Position during the Berne Meeting as Dictated by Professor Arpat, 2 February 1976, in Pleadings, p. 169.
 See Gündüz, (1996), p. 103.
 Its average depth is around 1,500 m, the maximum depth being 5,092 m in the Hellenic Trough in the southwest of the Greek mainland. Heezen and Hollister, (1971), p. 138. The Mediterranean Ridge system is not comparable with spreading ridges of the major oceans.
 Erinç and Yücel, (1978), pp. 7-8. The average depth is 1,300 m in the Black Sea.
 See generally Melentis, (1977), p. 263.
 According to the theory, a gradual subsidence into the ‘quaternary’ along normal faults active from the Lower Pliocene began to affect the continuous land area of Aegis which stretched from the Hellenides to the Rhodope Massif, Asia Minor, and Cyprus. This subsidence resulted in the formation of the Aegean Sea with only the mountain tops and young volcanoes emerging to form the Aegean islands of today. In fact, only the southern margin of the Rhodope massif was flooded by the Tethys and is now covered by the Aegean Sea. Ibid., p. 265.
 According to this theory, the Aegean Sea is the result of tectonic activity caused by the interaction between the oceanic and continental crust. Subduction of oceanic crust northwards beneath the Aegean started during the Miocene, or possibly a little earlier, initially along an east-west line. The crust above the subduction zone arched upwards to form the non-volcanic Hellenic arc, now represented by the island of Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes, the western edge of the Peloponnese and southeast Turkey. Crustal extension associated with the subduction was concentrated in the region north of Crete, so that the initially straight subduction zone was inflated into the curve we see today. Further north, the melting of the subducted slab and the overlying mantle produced the volcanoes of the south Aegean volcanic arc. Volcanism continues on the island of Thera (Santorini) and Nisyros. It was these grabens and horsts that produced many of the mountains and valleys, as well as the islands. Higgins and Higgins, (1996), pp. 22-23; Heezen and Hollister, (1971), p. 139.
 Erinç and Yücel, (1978), pp. 11-14.
 Heezen and Hollister, (1971), p. 139; Erinç and Yücel (1978), p. 6.
 Karaköse, (1986), p. 53, 70. See also Erinç and Yücel, (1978), p. 8.
 It is pointed out that plates may also slide past one another along, major faults that can cross both continents and oceans. Here plates are neither created or destroyed. In the Aegean region, the North Anatolian Fault zone is of this type: the European continent is moving to the right with respect to the Anatolian plate. Plate boundaries may also be transitional between these cases, and their character can change along their length. Higgins and Higgins, (1996), p. 4.
 It reaches to a depth of 1,500 m.
 McKenzie, (1970), p. 241.
 Karaköse, (1986), p. 57, 73, 75. This deep zone starts in the Saros bay and stretches northeast-southwest up the Greek shores, then turns back and stretches southeast and then southwest up to through the gap between Samothraki and Imbros and then between Taschos and Limnos. See the Times Atlas and Encyclopaedia of the Sea, p. 17.
 On the basis of such reasons, Karaköse concludes that “Obviously, the Aegean Sea is connected to Anatolia with its geological structure and natural prolongation.” Karaköse, (1986), p. 75; Erinç and Yücel, (1977), p. 37, 38, 48.
 Ibid., (1978), p. 11-14; Akhan, p. 126.
 The island of Crete is the result of the same process but is not closely associated with the Turkish mainland. Higgins and Higgins, (1996), pp. 121, 151-159, 194, 197.
 The studies indicate similarities between soils and rocks of the islands and Anatolia. Some geologists point out that as to the situation of the islands of Lesvos, Limnos, the fact that they are separated from Turkey with trenches of 200 m or less, they have not been drifted separately from Turkish mainland, the separating trenches are the continuation of those on the Turkish mainland are obvious. Karaköse, (1985), p. 60; Akhan, p. 127.
 See Part VI, C 1.
 As a matter of fact, Greece emerged as an independent state with the Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne) of 14 September 1829 with which the Ottoman Empire was obliged by Russia to recognise independent Greece. See generally Davis, (1923), pp. 2-15. The Ottoman Empire recognised Greece as an independent state with a note dated 24 April 1830. For the text of the note, see Baron de Testa, (1865), pp. 381-387.
 The recognition was through a note dated 24 April 1830. For the text, see ibid.
 Legally, the London Protocol set up a sovereign Greek Kingdom guaranteed by Russia, Great Britain and France as protecting powers. 1830 London Protocol, Recuil des Traites de la France, Vol. XIII, (Pans Durond at Pe done-Lauriel, 1880), pp. 557-560. See also Palmer, (1992), p. 100. And this situation was reported to the Ottoman Empire on 8 April 1830 which recognised the situation on 24 April 1830. The Note of 8 April 1830 was sent to the Ottoman Empire by Great Britain, France and Russia.
 The reason for the Greek-Turkish War of 1897 was the island of Crete but ended with the defeat of Greece. However, with the help of the “Five Powers”, Crete gained autonomy in 1898. See Davis, (1923), p. 346.
 Erim, (1953), p. 448.
 Italy intended both to cut the Ottoman connection from its north African territories and to gain bases to attack mainland Turkey by occupying these islands. Hayta, (1994), p. 132. See also Palmer, (1992), p. 215.
 For the text, see Erim, (1953), pp. 451-452.
 Hayta, (1996, I), p. 11.
 Ibid., p. 11; Şimşir, (1976), p. LIV.
 For the text, see ibid., p. 653.
 Davis, (1923), p. 371. See also Davison, (1981), pp. 113-114.
 Hayta, (1996, I), p. 12; For their discussions, see Şimşir, (1976), Vol. II, p. XXVII.
 Treaty of Peace with Turkey (Lausanne Peace Treaty), the Text available in 28 UNTS 11; UKTS, 91923, Cmd. 1929.
 The First World War ended in all other parts of Europe and in the Far East but continued in Eastern Europe as the newly established Turkish administration refused to sign the Treaty of Sevres establishing peace with the Ottoman Empire. See Treaty of Sevres, 113 BFSP, p. 471. The Conference was convened to establish the peace in the East, i.e. between Turkey and the victorious States. It started on 21 November, 1922 and ended on 24 July, 1923. See generally Show and Shaw, (1977), p. 365-369.
 Article 12 of the Lausanne Peace Treaty.
 It is sometimes argued by historians that Germany offered some of the Aegean islands to Turkey for its support to Germany in its actions in Iraq. Hayta, (1996 II), p. 820-823.
 The Treaty of Peace with Italy, signed on 10 February 1947 at Paris. The Treaty came into force on 15 September 1947. The text is available in 49 UNTS 3; UKTS 50 (1948), Cmd, 7481.
 The Treaty provided that “Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese”. For the negotiations during the Paris Peace Conference, see Hayta, (1996, II), pp. 853-846. Article 14: “Italy hereby cedes to Greece in full sovereignty the Dodecanese, indicated hereafter, namely Stampalia (Astropalia), Rhodes (Rhodos), Calki (Kharki), Scarpanto, Casos (Casso), Piscopis (Tilos), Misoros (Nisyros), Calimnos (Kalymnos), Leros, Patmos, Lipsos (Lipso), Simi (Symi), Cos (Kos) and Castellorizo, as well as the adjacent islets.” The Paris Peace Conference of 10 February, 1947.
 The then Greek Foreign Minster, T. Pangalos stated that all these islands are part of Greece by virtue of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), and the Peace Treaty of Paris (1947). The Statement of Greek Foreign Minster, T. Pangalos, 28 April 1998, as given in a main Greek television bulletin.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister, İ. Cem said in a rough translation that “We believe that the islands whose sovereignty has not been determined should be taken as left to Turkey. But we believe that the issue can be solved by negotiation”. The Statement of Turkish Foreign Minister, Cem. The Milliyet Newspaper, 3 June 1999. It is also a common opinion among Turkish scholars. See Yeni Yüzyıl Newspaper, 12 January 1998.
 The Turkish President, S. Demirel was reported to have said that “There are some 132 rocks or islets in the Aegean, we refer to them as ‘grey areas’”. Namely, it has not been defined through agreements to whom they belong. We have said : “They do not belong to Greece”. Quoted in Relations Between Turkey and European Union. For more details, see Karamahmut, (1998), especially pp. 6-19. Some have reported that Turkey questioned the sovereignty over 152 islets in the Aegean Sea. The Milliyet Newspaper, 3 June 1999. According to one of the memorandums submitted to the EU Council by Greece regarding Turkey’s attitude on 26 March 1998, it was revealed that about a month ago Turkish authorities notified Greece that they question the sovereignty of four Greek islets in the eastern Aegean, namely, Fourni, Agathonisi, Farmakonissi and Pserimos. The Statement of Greek Foreign Minster T. Pangalos, 28 April 1998 as given in a main Greek television bulletin. There are many other islands such as Gavdos whose name was explicitly referred as disputed islands. The Statement of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ö. Akbel. 5 June 1996.
 See the Statement of Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, S. Atacanlı in Weekly Press Conference, 16 July 1998; See also the Interview Given by the then State Minster of Turkey, Ş. Gürel, to the Eleftheros Tipos Daily, 7 October 1997.
 Keesing’s, (1996), p. 40923.
 The Report on Limnia-Imia Islets, p. 5.
 It seems that the crisis was over by January 1996 when Greece and Turkey decided to pull out any forces they had sent to the region, although the implications of the dispute would run to date. See, The Weekly Press Conference of Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ö. Akbel, 31 January 1996. However, the Kardak Rocks sometimes cause tension between the two countries. See a statement of Turkish Foreign Ministry explained on the TRT-TV, Ankara, 25 September 1998, quoted in BBC SWB, World Report, 28 September 1998, p. EE/3343 B/8. See moreover İnan & Başeren, (1996), p. 46, 47.
 Ibid., (1997, II), p. 15.
 Agreement between Italy and Turkey of 4 January 1932. 138 LNTS, (1933), pp. 243-249. Registered with the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 24 May 1933, No. 3191.
 The Agreement between Italy and Turkey of December 28, 1932. The official text was not available to the author. However, the French version of the text has been made available at http://www.mfa.gr/foreign/bilateral/italturc.htm (12/18/97).
 According to the document, up to a distance of 12 miles between the territories of contracting States, the line to be determined would be separating both sovereignty in the sea (la souverainité deux Pays sur les eaux de la mer), and the respective areas in which the islets would belong to the party nearby.
 “In the years between 1952-53, Greece wanted to discuss the issue of succession with Turkey. It shows that Greece accepted that there was a vagueness over the validity of these documents. Although Turkey wanted to discuss the issue with Greece at that time, Greece did not eventually want to discuss the matter.” The Statement of the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ö. Akbel, 29 January 1996.
 Turkey expressed that “This Agreement did not legally get into force on behalf of either Turkey or Italy. The necessary procedures have not been completed….In the absence of such an agreement, the argument of succession cannot be valid. ” The Statement of the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ö. Akbel, 29 January 1996; See also the International Legal Status of the Aegean, (1998), p. 51.
 The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that “Since the 1932 Agreement is not legally in force, there is nothing to which Greece can be successor.” The Statement of the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ö. Akbel, 29 January 1996.
 Official Statement of Turkey, 4-5 February 1996. Quoted in Report on the “Limnia-Imia” Islets, p. 5.
 The Verbal Note of Greek Embassy to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (10 January 1996), summarised at http://www.mfa.gr/foreign/bilateral/imiaen.htm (22 April 1998). See also Ioannou, (1997), p. 146. According to Greece, the letters exchanged between the Turkish Foreign Minister T. R. Aras and the Italian Ambassador to Ankara, Aloisi envisaged such a protocol and thus established the legal link between these two documents. İnan and Başeren, (1997), p. 4.
 Greece also puts forward many international maps showing the Kardak Rocks as belonging to Greece. Report on the “Limnia-Imia” Islets, pp. 9-27. For such Greek opinions, see also the International Legal Status of the Aegean, pp. 52-53.
 For how the issue should be handled with regard to the delimitation of the continental shelf and the EEZ, see Part VI, B 2.1.
 See Article 5 of the London Protocol, 17-30 May 1913. Text in Şimşir, (1976), Vol. II, p. XIX.
 “Le Six puissances ont également décidé que des garanties satisfaisantes leur seraient données ainsi qu’a la Turquie par la Grece que iles dont’ elle gardere possession se seront ni fortifees ni utilisees pour un but naval ou militaire et qu’elle prendra des mesures effectives en vue de prevenir la contre-bande entre les iles et le Territoire Ottoman.” The Decision of the Six States as to the islands in the Aegean Sea. Text in ibid., p. XXVII.
 See Article 4 of the Lausanne Convention on Straits. Text in Meray, (1973), p. 60-61.
 International Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, 20 July 1936, Montreux, 173 LNTS 213; UKTS 30 (1937) Cmd. 5551.
 See Article 14 (2) of the Peace Treaty with Italy, Paris, 10 February 1947. 138 UNTS, pp. 134-135.
 See generally, Bilge, (1996), p. 63, 64; Pazarcı, (1992), p. 28. See also Pazarcı, (1985-86), p. 29.
 For instance, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman of Turkey recently stated that Greece clearly accepts the militarisation of these islands. See Statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesman of Turkey on the Militarisation of the Eastern Aegean Islands, 9 July 1998.
 See generally Katsoufros, (1989), p. 77; Pazarcı, (1992), p. 31-35; Stagos, (1989), pp. 196-197.
 See Part IV, C 2.2.
Yücel ACER: Assoc. Prof. Dr., Head of the U.S.A.K. (I.S.R.O.) Centre for Sea and Water Law Studies
International Strategic Research Organization (I.S.R.O.)
- 1ASIAOver 50,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan returned this year: UNHCR
- 2MIDDLE EASTEgypt's Sisi maneuvers to deliver more balanced foreign policy
- 3TURKEYTurkish airstrikes inflict 'heaviest blow' on PKK
- 4MIDDLE EASTRussia to build nuclear power plant in Egypt: Putin
- 5TURKEYFirst opposition member joins Turkey's interim Cabinet