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What is going on here!? What is the full story with this category? Why shouldn't it be on this page? - Erebus555 18:04, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Unsourced and questionable---the Turkish government has spoken nebulously of "gray zones", but hasn't provided a list. There has been speculation in the Turkish media that has included Agathonisi, but we shouldn't make up categories of rumor and speculation. --Delirium 22:07, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
(Reply) During Kardak crisis in 1996, a copter of Greek Army downed! (some deathly casualties)! Turkish sent its special forces over the Kardak island in Gray Region and downed Greek flag and landed Turkish flag. Delirium, are these rumor and speculation. Try to land in Kardak see what happens to you Hector 09:07, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Turkish claim on the island[edit]

I removed the Turkish claim on the island since the article cite only the POV of Turkish opposition parties. Moreover, it would be good to have a more reliable source, since a part of the article goes against history, since the islet was occupied from Italy in 1912, as the Italian sources state.Alex2006 (talk) 19:07, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

That whole story belongs into Aegean conflict, if anywhere, but not on all the individual articles on individual islands. Also, if included, it needs to be sourced to something better than that ridiculously tendentious piece of junk journalism from Today's Zaman [1] (the journalists clearly have no idea what they are writing about). If a Turkish defense minister has again reiterated the old claim about "grey zones", in an internal political discussion, that's a footnote to Aegean dispute, nothing more. There was nothing new in his declarations, as far as I can see. If you look at a slightly better newspaper report about this incident in the parliament ([2], in Turkish), you'll see that neither the minister nor his critics from the nationalist MHP actually named Agathonisi (or any other island) specifically. This, too, is established practice. Ever since the Imia crisis of 1996, Turkish government officials have habitually referred to some vaguely described, anoymous set of islands "that were not ceded to Greece by international treaties", without ever specifying officially which islands exactly those might be. Specific lists have been circulated only by non-official sources, mostly by circles close to the Turkish military, and it is indeed common knowledge that Agathonisi and Farmakonisi are among them, but as long as this doesn't rise to the level of an official government claim proposed internationally, it's of no concern to this article. Fut.Perf. 10:19, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
"the article cite only the POV of Turkish opposition parties": "Those islands are part of Turkish territory," Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz responded.
"it would be good to have a more reliable source": Zaman's piece seems to be from Cihan. I have never heard Cihan's reputation questioned, I don't know if you would consider it unreliable.
"That whole story belongs into Aegean conflict": Any information about Agathonisi belongs to the Agathonisi page. You are right that we don't need to go into too much detail, we can just link to the Aegean conflict page; but that is no reason to remove information completely.
"neither the minister nor his critics from the nationalist MHP actually named Agathonisi (or any other island) specifically.": The report you linked mentions all 16 islands by name. If have difficulty in believing newspapers and think MPs don't actually mention them by name, here is the video for you: [3] MP lists the 16 islands in the parliament, including Agathonisi. (He even says Agathonisi is officially part of Aydın Province.) The minister responded by saying that those 16 islands are indeed Turkish territory, and Turkey not taking military action doesn't mean Turkey gave up its territorial rights. I don't know if Zaman or Cihan incorrectly translated the defence minister's response (maybe he meant they are grey zones, not Turkish territory, as you say), but there is no confusion as to which islands are in question.
And to clarify Alex2006's confusion, AKP came into power in 2002, not 2004. The claim here is that in 2004 Greek military came and invaded the islands, and Turkey refrained from defending its territory (Erdogan was prime minister at the time). So 2004 is the start of the supposed Greek occupation. That may very well be historically inaccurate (wouldn't be surprised, MHP people are delusional), but that is their claim. Even if the minister's response is only towards internal Turkish politics and Turkey doesn't actively try to promote the case internationally, it still deserves to be mentioned on this article because of the role it plays in Turkish politics and Aegean conflict, and there is no reason to remove it.-- (talk) 21:13, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Agathonisi and other islands like it have been under continued, uncontroversial Greek rule ever since 1947, as everybody knows who's been to the area. Any claim they were newly "occupied" or "invaded" by Greece after 2004 are so obviously lunatic they really don't deserve to be mentioned. We don't report on the lunatic fringe nonsense of delusional liars like these, be they journalists, MPs or ministers. Fut.Perf. 22:04, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that MHP MP's claim about invasion is so laughable that I had to explain it to Alex2006 who was trying to make sense out of it. What is not laughable is that an MP claims Agathonisi other 15 islands are Turkish territory and the minister of defence affirms it. Wikipedia reports on territorial disputes. According to the sources, Turkey disputes Greek sovereignty over Agathonisi. You are welcome to add references explaining why Turkey's case is so ridiculous. You don't get the remove information about Turkey's stance because you find it legally baseless.-- (talk) 23:02, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
No, I think that before all we need (Turkish) sources that explain the reason why Turkey considers these islets Turkish. The "reliable" source repeats exactly what the Turkish newspaper writes (Greek expansion since 2004, etc.). Sentences like "The Greek military has now occupied Eşek Adası, Koyun Adası, Hurşit, Bulamaç (Farmakonisi), Fornoz, Nergizçik, Kalolimnoz, Keçi, Sakarcılar, Koçbaba, Ardacık, Gavdos, Dhia, Dionisades, Gaidhouronisi and Koufonisi islands" makes of the whole article a (bad) piece of propaganda, and because of that unreliable. I remember some years ago another such article about Gavdos, and yet others about the status of Rho and Strongyli near Kastellorizo. Could not be possible to have Turkish official documents explaining what the Turkish official stance is? Besides it, I agree with Fut.Perf. that Agathonisi & co. are a small part of a larger dispute about the status of Aegen Sea, but I agree with the IP that on wikipedia we should only record what the reliable sources say, not considering our personal opinion. Alex2006 (talk) 06:49, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but any source that parrots those stories about recent "occupation" etc., like that "Zaman" website, are ipso facto not reliable sources. I have no objection against including a sentence that Agathonisi has been one of a number of islands that some Turkish commentators and politicians have included among those whose sovereignty Turkey should challenge. Note: it's "commentators and politicians" that are the subject here, not "Turkey" as a whole. "Turkey", officially, has only ever stated that there are some such islands, but has never named which they are (except for Kardak); it has also, IIRC, never explicitly stated that these islands are Turkish but that they are "grey zones" of undetermined sovereignty. This official Turkish position is well documented; we must be citing MFA declarations at Aegean dispute. The "semi-official" position, which does include Agathonisi, is documented in a number of "academic" publications by circles close to the military, which outline at length the (pseudo-)legal theory behind these claims; again, we are already citing some of that stuff in the main article. Everything beyond that, about recent Greek occupation etc., belongs firmly into the realm of the lunatic fringe, whose coverage would be undue weight (no matter how many rubbish newspapers and political gangsters in Turkey keep proliferating it). Fut.Perf. 07:25, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you, that's why I was asking an official document of the Turkish government (Turkey). Cheers, Alex2006 (talk) 07:32, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@Alex2006 and @Fut.Perf.: Zaman is narrating the opposition MP's claims regarding Agathonisi, Farmakonisi and other islands. I don't see how that makes them unreliable. Maybe you could say Zaman favors the Turkish side in the Aegean dispute, but you will have a hard time finding any Turkish newspaper that doesn't, and this doesn't make their coverage of news unreliable. And just to be clear about what they mean by the recent occupation, if you have seen the video of parliamentary proceedings, they explain it: The MP says "The government of Greece started construction activities in Agathonisi and Farmakonisi on October-November 2004, they have set up municipal, police and first aid organizations, hoisted Greek flag, they have positioned armed soldiers, equipment and assault boats. AKP government did not object to this in order to begin negotiation talks on EU membership." The implication here is that police buildings and soldiers were not on these two islands before 2004, although presumably Greece still claimed sovereignty and Greek citizens lived there. Since you seem to know about those islands, maybe you can explain, is the MP lying?
And you may be right, perhaps we shouldn't say Turkey claims sovereignty just because the Minister of Defence said it did during parliamentary proceedings, unless the MFA officially adopts the position. However, I see no reason to remove the information regarding the role that Agathonisi and Farmakonisi play in Turkish politics. And this is not just a singular event, the two islands are a routine source of controversy in Turkey and has been making news for years. e.g. another opposition party leader tried to visit Agathonisi and Farmakonisi in 2011 reiterating the claim that they belong to Turkey and has been under Greek occupation since 2004. Agathonisi and Farmakonisi are the focus of Aegean conflict, at least on the Turkish side, and it would be inadequate if the articles about them do not mention it.-- (talk) 16:55, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, if the politicians said (possibly correctly) that Greece had been engaging in construction activities and strengthened the presence of their security forces on the island, and then the newspaper turned that (relatively plausible) claim into one of Greece "occupying" and "seizing" the island, then that in itself demonstrates the level of junk journalism here. "Occupying" and "seizing" means that Greek forces suddenly went to a place where there had been none before. If the MP didn't say any such thing and only the newspaper did, then the unreliability is primarily on the side of the newspaper. There are other howlers in that report too: (a) speaking of 16 islands "close to the Turkish coast" and "the 16 easternmost islands" (when some of the 16 are as far off as south of Crete!); (b) speaking of islands "whose status has not been decided by any international court" (as if the sovereignty status of islads was routinely in need of being decided by courts!); (c) speaking of "16 islands in international waters" (a contradiction in terms; an island can never be situated in international waters; every piece of land has its own area of territorial waters around it), and so on. As I said, those journalists have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Fut.Perf. 17:21, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
No, the politicians use the word "occupation" (işgal). Their claim is that there wasn't any stationary Greek military and administrative presence on these two islands before 2004. And they claim Greece "invaded" these two islands in 2004 by sending its military, along with 14 other islands, because AKP assured them that Turkey wouldn't react as it did in 1996. I find it a silly use of the term, but that is how it has been used in Turkish politics for years, and the newspaper is merely citing it and their criticism of AKP, it doesn't add anything of its own. Same goes for the other howlers you mention. It doesn't report on the whole Aegean dispute, it reports on a parliamentary debate: how the opposition MPs criticized the government, and how the government minister responded in the parliament. And that is the context in which the article is cited here. And I agree, we shouldn't explicitly state that Turkey considers Agathonisi to be Turkish territory, the minister's statements may not be enough unless a source states that MFA officially pursues it. We should just state the territorial dispute, which involves Turkish MPs and Minister of Defence, and we should refer to Aegean dispute for further details.-- (talk) 18:32, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
No, the newspaper is not merely "citing" these opinions. The claim of "the Greek occupation of 16 islands and islets since 2004" ("established its grip by seizing islands one after another", etc.) is stated as a presupposed claim of fact, in the newspaper's own voice. Same goes for the other factual inaccuracies I mentioned above. Which means the newspaper is either itself a propaganda outlet of the lunatic nationalist fringe, or it is uncritically copying these claims without basic fact-checking – an obvious breach of the most fundamental demands of responsible journalism. No reliable journalistic source would write like this. Fut.Perf. 21:39, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I must agree with Fut.Perf. here. Unfortunately the quality of Turkish newspaper is very low. We need a better, official source here. Alex2006 (talk) 04:36, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
No, the the full sentence says "Turkish opposition slammed the government for its inaction and failure to address the Greek occupation of 16 islands and islets since 2004." That is a exactly true, opposition is slamming the government exactly using that reason. The newspaper does not refrain from sharing the government's position either. What you seem fail to grasp is the government did not dispute these claims, nor did anybody in Turkey deny these claims. Sure, from Greece's point of view its actions in 2004 were not occupation at all, it was just positioning its soldiers on some of its islands. And yes, the newspaper does not mention Greece's point of view; however, this is a report on a Turkish parliamentary debate, so when giving the two sides of the story, it mentions the opposition's side and government's side. And this is fully appropriate here, we are quoting this news to cite Turkey's stance only.
I am really struggling to understand your point here. There has been numerous political debates in Turkey regarding Agathonisi's status. You had difficulty in believing that those really included Agathonisi, so I found the video for you. And if you like, here is the transcript of the discussion from parliament's website. Here is an earlier official document regarding parliamentary investigative committee request, with signatures. (All mention 16 islands by name, all put special emphasis on Agathonisi and Farmakonisi) These are routine debates, and in this instance the newspaper bothered to translate it into English, without adding anything of its own. It is not a piece of investigative journalism, it is mostly a verbatim translation of what the two sides of the debate say against each other, and what the two sides both accept.
And you seem to be uninformed about the situation of Turkish newspapers, as evident by your suggesting that Milliyet is slightly better than Today's Zaman. Milliyet is probably one of the least reputable newspapers in Turkey, since its takeover by Demirören group. I have never heard Cihan's reputation questioned, and if we are to cite a news regarding Turkey, it would be one of the most reliable sources, along with Doğan. The thing is, no matter how reputable, all newspapers would accept Turkish version of the events, regardless of how ridiculously and factually wrong it is. e.g. if the Turkish PM made a statement about Armenian Genocide, the newspapers would report it, and while doing that they would take it for a fact that there is no Armenian Genocide. This may be a blatant lie in the face of history, but it doesn't make the rest of their report unreal. The Turkish PM indeed made that statement, and we can safely quote them on that.-- (talk) 05:44, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Alex2006, I added the official parliamentary records, as well as other sources to further convince Fut.Perf.. In this case, we are lucky that those statements were made in the parliament, so we can access official records; however, I must say that in general your objection to Today's Zaman is very unreasonable. Hürriyet Daily News and Today's Zaman are the most reputable sources of news about Turkey in English. If they say a person said something, there is no reason to doubt that he actually said it. I have not yet seen an accusation that they misquote people or put words into people's mouths. Unless such a case erupts, we can and need to rely on them about what people say, as there won't always be an official clerk noting down everything one says.-- (talk) 07:01, 23 July 2015 (UTC)