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Imia is “Turkish land”: Someone please get Turkey’s government some maps

Thursday, December 1, 2016  | 

It was Giving Tuesday this week, an international campaign meant to raise money for charitable causes. We launched a campaign to raise money for poverty-stricken children in Greece. In retrospect, we should have also raised money to buy the Turkish government a set of history books and maps. They sorely need them.

The latest display of intentional ignorance of facts comes from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said this week that Imia is “Turkish land.”

His false claim is only the latest in a series of provocative attempts by the Turkish government to rewrite history and redraw maps.

wrongmapTurkish Prime Minister Erdogan has been on a campaign for months now whining about the Treaty of Lausanne, the treaty which essentially set up the modern day borders of Greece and Turkey. In September, he claimed that Turkish negotiators “did not do [us] justice” as the treaty was being negotiated. In the weeks since, he’s doubled down on his asinine theory, claiming those negotiators were “blackmailed by foreign powers” and that “we cannot draw boundaries to our hearts, nor do we allow it.” In October, he called the Treaty of Lausanne a “mistake,” claimed Turkey’s borders were forced upon it and claimed the long-standing treaty is now “negotiable.”

He even claimed — in a sure sign that irony is dead in the Turkish state — that “I am giving a history lesson here.”


If it was just Erdogan pushing these claims, we would chalk it up to the delusional rantings of an Ottoman-obsessed authoritarian, but the fact is claims upon Greek lands are clearly becoming official government policy from the top down.

Even the Mayor of Ankara has gotten in on the act, tweeting out a map claiming that all of Greece’s islands belonged to Turkey and that the Treaty of Lausanne was a mistake.

And now, Turkey’s Foreign Minister has joined the cacophony of factless idiocies, ignoring all legally drawn boundaries and laying claim to Imia as “Turkish soil.”

If it wasn’t so serious, their attempts to rewrite history and redraw maps would be laughable. But it is serious — as Turkey dashes further and further away from the West and democratic values, it becomes more volatile and unstable. We cannot wait for words to become action. Please fight back now by taking action below:


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