Why is Turkey interested in Imia?
One may wonder why it is that the two uninhabited rocky islets of Imia are the cause of such tensions, and possible future conflict, between Greece and Turkey? Obviously, there exists a historical enmity between the two nations that has never been resolved, one which can cause issues that to an outside observer are seemingly trivial to assume a much greater significance.
Yet some people have speculated that Imia is actually not a trivial islet but that there must be oil or gas under her nearby waters which Greece and Turkey are sparring over. Maybe there are reservoirs of fossil fuels in the area, or maybe not. However, according to Burhan Kuzu, an important adviser to President Erdoğan, the dispute over Imia is strategic in nature.
“The crisis with Greece is a problem in the Aegean. It is not a problem about two rocks with two goats on them… If the Greeks dominate in the Aegean, 65% of the Aegean will be Greek. We will be needing a license from the Greeks to move between our ports.”
So if we are to place credence in Kuzu’s take on the situation, and there is little reason not to as he is a very well connected person in Turkey, then the whole Imia dispute is an attempt by Turkey to assert their dominance over the Aegean. To those familiar with Erdoğan and his minions this should come as no surprise.