Less than a day before setting off for his historic two-day visit to Greece, Erdogan told Greek journalists that the treaty is in need of an update.
"In fact, all agreements pacts in the world should be updated over time," Erdogan said, speaking with Greece's Skai TV and the Kathimerini newspaper. "Lausanne too, in the face of all these developments, is in need of an update. This update would be beneficial not only for Turkey but also for Greece," he added.
Erdogan did not expand on what sorts of changes he had in mind, but called the distances between some of the islands in the Aegean Sea, over which Turkey and Greece have competing claims, "problematic." He added that issues concerning territorial waters, airspace and the continental shelf could be "easily" resolved.
"Comments regarding [the treaty's] revision do not contribute to the climate we are trying to build in our relations and in the region," he added.
Speaking on Skai TV, ND shadow foreign minister #Koumoutsakos deplores #Erdogan’s “radical questioning of Lausanne Treaty" describing it as the “cornerstone of peace and stability in the Aegean and wider region,” suggests Greek gov’t unprepared #Greece— Kathimerini English Edition (@ekathimerini) 7 декабря 2017 г.
Wednesday's remarks were not the first time that Erdogan has raised the issue of the Lausanne Treaty's possible revision. In 2016, he complained that the Treaty saw Ankara "give away" Turkish islands in the Aegean. "They were ours. There are our mosques, our shrines there," he said, adding that Turkey's territorial disputes with its neighbor in the present are a consequence of the treaty.
Observers also expect Erdogan to bring up the eight Turkish army officers who fled to Greece following the failed July 15, 2016 Turkish coup attempt currently being harbored in the country. Athens has ignored Ankara's extradition requests out of fear that the servicemen may not receive a fair trial in their home country. In Wednesday's interview with Greek media, Erdogan said that Prime Minister Tsipras had promised him a speedy extradition of the officers in the days following the coup attempt, but later reneged.