| Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

ELIAMEP Working Paper analyses the Imia crisis

Undoubtedly, the Imia crisis was a major event in transnational relations between Greece and Turkey. In the January 1996 crisis, Turkish soldiers landed on Greek soil, ie the two countries were on the verge of armed conflict. The purpose of this text is to focus solely on comparing the opposing military forces (“hard power”), using comparative armor arrays, and analyzing the possible way of conducting potential war missions. However, it was deemed useful to include a brief history of the events of the crisis, as well as the current legal status. After the crisis in Imia, there was a strong rumor in Greece, but also a belief that they had a tactical advantage against Turkey, which the Greek government did not take advantage of. Because of this omission, the opportunity for a military victory against Turkey was lost. Through this text it is shown that this claim was unrealistic, both at a local and a wider level of confrontation. As a consequence of how the crisis was handled, it was the famous “Buffer Zones”, adding further issues in the direction of questioning the existing status quo in the Aegean.

Working Paper 87/2017: The Greek-Turkish Dispute over Imia (in Greek)

Author: Nikolaos Paounis

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