Perejil Island

Perejil Island (Spanish: Isla de Perejil, Berber: Tura or Toṛa, Arabic: تورة‎, translit. Toora) is a small, uninhabited rocky islet located off the coast of Morocco, just 200 metres from the mainland coast. Its sovereignty is disputed between Spain and Morocco. It was the subject of an armed incident between the two countries in 2002.

Perejil Island
Isla Perejil (Spanish)
Parsley Island (English)
Tura / Toṛa (Berber)
تورة (Arabic)
Disputed island
Vista del islote de Perejil desde la costa africana
View of Perejil Island from the Moroccan coast with Spain on the horizon.
Geography
LocationStrait of Gibraltar
Coordinates35°54′50″N 5°25′08″W / 35.91389°N 5.41889°WCoordinates: 35°54′50″N 5°25′08″W / 35.91389°N 5.41889°W
Total islands1
Area15 hectares (37 acres)
Highest point
  • 74 metres (243 ft)
Claimed by
Spain
Morocco
Demographics
PopulationUninhabited
Mapa del sur de España neutral
Spanish territories in North Africa.
Perejil-neutral
Isla de Perejil in relation to Ceuta.

Name

The name Isla de Perejil literally means "Parsley Island" in Spanish.[1] Its original Berber name is Tura, meaning "empty".[2] Moroccan and international media often mistakenly use the name Laila (ليلى) due to a confusion resulting from it being referred to as "la isla" ("the island") pronounced in Spanish with Andalusian accent, rendering "lah ihla" or laíla. It is sometimes referred to in Arabic as "Jazirat al-Ma'danus" (جزيرة معدنوس), which is a translation of "Parsley Island".[3]

In Moroccan historical references it is only known as "Tura". In his speech to the Moroccan people commemorating the "Throne Day" on July 30, 2002, the king of Morocco used the name "Tura" exclusively, when he mentioned the armed incident with Spain over the island.[4]

Geography

The island lies 250 metres (820 feet) off the coast of Morocco, 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Spanish city of Ceuta and 13.5 km (8.4 miles) from mainland Spain. The island is about 480 by 480 metres (1,575 by 1,575 feet) in size, with an area of 15 ha or 0.15 square kilometres (0.06 sq mi). It has a maximum height of 74 metres (243 feet) above sea level.

History

In 1415, Portugal, along with the conquest of Ceuta, took possession of the nearby islet from Morocco.[5] In 1580, Portugal came under the sovereignty of Philip I of Portugal, who was also King of Spain, creating an Iberian Union under one king, without unifying the countries. When the Union split in 1640, Ceuta remained under Spanish sovereignty.

The islet's sovereignty is disputed by Morocco and Spain. Local Moroccan shepherds used it for grazing of livestock but the vast majority of Spaniards and Moroccans had not heard of the islet until 11 July 2002, when a group of Moroccan soldiers set up base on the islet. The Moroccan government said that they set foot on the island in order to monitor illegal immigration, which justification the Spanish government rejected as there had been little co-operation in the matter to that time (a repeated source of complaint from Spain). After protests from the Spanish government, led by Prime Minister José María Aznar, Morocco replaced the soldiers with cadets from the Moroccan navy, who then installed a fixed base on the island. This further angered the Spanish government and both countries restated their claims to the islet. Almost all European Union member states fully supported Spain's objections, with the exception of France and Portugal, whose government issued a statement regretting the incident. Morocco's claims had official support from the Arab League, except for Algeria, which restated its recognition of Spanish sovereignty over the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

On the morning of 18 July 2002 Spain launched Operation Romeo-Sierra, a military attempt to take over the island. The operation was successful and within hours the Spanish had taken control of the island and custody of the Moroccan naval cadets, who had not resisted the Spanish commando attack force, Grupo de Operaciones Especiales III. The operation was launched in conjunction with the Spanish Navy and Spanish Air Force. The Spanish transferred the captured Moroccans by helicopter to the headquarters of the Guardia Civil in Ceuta, who then transported the cadets to the Moroccan border. Over the course of the same day, the Spanish Legion replaced the commandos, and remained on the island until Morocco, after mediation by the United States, led by Colin Powell,[6] agreed to return to the status quo ante which existed prior to the Moroccan occupation of the island. The islet is now deserted.

Sovereignty

Perejil Island has no permanent human population. Goats are pastured there, and the Moroccan government expressed worries that smugglers and terrorists, in addition to illegal immigrants, were using the island. The island is well monitored from both sides in order to maintain the status quo that leaves it deserted and virtually a no man's land.

Morocco had demanded the return of the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla along with several small rocks and islets off the coast of Morocco. The crisis over Perejil Island was seen by the Spanish government as a way for Morocco to test the waters in regard to Spain's will to defend Ceuta and Melilla.[7]

Migration

In June 2014, Spain requested that the Moroccan forces enter the Island to expel sub-Saharan migrants.[8]

Popular culture

The international incident is recounted in a 2015 film La Isla which is largely based on the facts of the dispute.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ John Purdy (1840). The New Sailing Directory for the Strait of Gibraltar and the Western Division of the Mediterranean Sea: Comprehending the Coasts of Spain, France, and Italy, from Cape Trafalgar to Cape Spartivento, the Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and the Maltese Islands, with the African Coast, from Tangier to Tripoli, Inclusive ... Improved, by Considerable Additions, to the Present Times. R.H. Laurie. p. 7. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  2. ^ [Arabic entry:"خوي" (empty)] in the Arabic-Berber Dictionary by Mohamed Chafik, vol.1, page 346, published by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco [1]
  3. ^ كوهن، عبد الرحمن (2004). الدعوة الى الاصلاح: مجموعة افتتاحيات أسبوعية الاصلاح، شتنبر 2002، يونيو 2004 (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  4. ^ King of Morocco speech on July 30, 2002 mentioning Tura island. [Official French translation from Arabic. In the French translation, the name "Tura" is rendered: "Toura".] "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  5. ^ JULIO REYES RUBIO. SALADINO (in Spanish). Editorial Liber Factory. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-84-9949-270-4. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  6. ^ Linnee, Susan (July 23, 2002). "Spain and Morocco agree to differ over Perejil". The Independent. London. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  7. ^ Ceberia, Monica et al. (17 September 2012) The last remains of the empire El Pais in English, Retrieved 24 September 2012
  8. ^ "Las fuerzas marroquíes entran en Perejil y devuelven a los 13 inmigrantes llegados a la isla española". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  9. ^ La Isla, IMDb.com|La Isla, 2015. IMDB.com.

External links

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Abdelhak Mrini

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Abdellatif Loudiyi

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Abderrahmane Sbai

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Acima

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Federico Trillo

Federico Trillo-Figueroa Martínez-Conde (born May 23, 1952 in Cartagena, Spain) is a former Spanish Politician of the People's Party, who has served as President of the Congress of Deputies, Minister of Defense and Ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom.

His father, also named Federico Trillo, was a politician during the reign of caudillo Francisco Franco.

He has a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Law from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is married with five children.

Trillo entered into the Navy's Legal Corps as first of his class in 1974 where he was posted in the naval prosecutor's office of the Maritime Zone of the Mediterranean, later he was posted in the Directorship of Military Naval Construction. In 1979, he passed the competitive examination for Counsel of the Council of State. He retired from the navy as a Judge-Advocate Mayor in 1989 in order to enter politics.

In 1983 he entered the legal staff of the Coalición Popular (People's Coalition), then headed by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, where he actively participated in the restructuring of the party, refashioning it as the People's Party. He has been a member of the national executive since 1986.

Trillo has been elected deputy for the province of Alicante since 1989. From 1989 and 1996, he was vice-president of the Congress of Deputies. On March 27, 1996, he was elected president of the Congress of Deputies, a position he maintained until the end of the sixth legislature in 2000. On April 27, 2000, Prime Minister José María Aznar named him Minister of Defense for Aznar's second government.

In July 2002, he ordered an attack on Perejil Island, which had been occupied for days by Moroccan soldiers. The Yakovlev 42 crash in Turkey on May 26, 2003 in which 62 Spanish soldiers died while returning from Afghanistan marked the end of his tenure as the Minister of Defense. Three of his subordinates were sent to prison for falsifying the identification of 30 of the bodies. A judge found no grounds to implicate Trillo, and Trillo repeatedly refused to accept political or criminal responsibility.

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The main competing ideologies of the Greater Morocco ideology have been Sahrawi nationalism, Mauritanian irridentism, Spanish nationalism, Berber separatism and Pan-Arabism.

Irredentists, official and unofficial Moroccan claims on territories viewed by Moroccans as having been under some form of Moroccan sovereignty (most frequently with respect to the Spanish exclaves), are rhetorically tied back to an accused expansionism. However, Moroccan government claims make no current reference to the greater Morocco concept.

Islet

An islet is a very small island.

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Morocco–Spain relations

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Perejil

Perejil may refer to:

Perejil Island, an islet between Spain and Morocco

Parsley Massacre, the genocide in which the pronunciation of "perejil" was used as a shibboleth

Perejil Island crisis

The Perejil Island crisis was a bloodless armed conflict between Spain and Morocco that took place on 11–20 July 2002. The incident took place over the small, uninhabited Perejil Island, when a squad of the Royal Moroccan Navy occupied it. After an exchange of declarations between both countries, the Spanish troops finally evicted the Moroccan infantry who had relieved their Navy comrades.

Point Cires

Point Cires (Arabic: بونتا سيريس‎, French: Point Cires, Spanish: Punta Cires) is a promontory and two islands off the northern coast of Morocco within the Strait of Gibraltar. The islands have a lighthouse and they are about 100 metres (330 ft) from the mainland offering good anchorage. It is near the Mediterranean port of Tanger-Med within the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region of northern Morocco.

Perejil Island, a disputed territory between Morocco and Spain, is about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) East.

Siege of Melilla (1774)

The Siege of Melilla was an attempt by the British-backed Sultanate of Morocco to capture the Spanish fortress of Melilla on the Moroccan Mediterranean coast. Mohammed ben Abdallah, then Sultan of Morocco, invested Melilla in December 1774 with a large army of Royal Moroccan soldiers and Algerian mercenaries. The city was defended by a small garrison under Irish-born Governor Don Juan Sherlocke until the siege was lifted by a relief fleet in March 1775.

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