Greece warns Turkey of consequences if Turkish research vessels touch the Greek continental shelf.
Image Credit: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Greek military sources said that if the Turkish Oruc Reis seismic research vessel enters the Greek continental shelf, Turkey will be responsible for what happens after. This warning comes after Turkish Navtex chose spots in the Greek continental shelf for seismic surveys to be carried out by Oruc Reis.
Navtex (Navigational Telex) is a maritime communications system. It allows ships to inform each other their positions thereby reducing the chance of collisions or forcing other vessels to steer away from the area, but it can also be used to share other information such as meteorological warnings.
Greece has also said that their military forces are battle-ready after it has been announced by Turkey, that two-thirds of the Turkish fleet was being dispatched to the Aegean sea.
According to Ibrahim Kalin, a representative of the Turkish presidency, ‘Greece’s reaction was excessive’ when the Navtex was issued for the research vessel, Oruc Reis.
Germany is trying to de-escalate the situation between Greece and Turkey and last week it held a trilateral meeting to keep the communication between the two countries open. Read more about this here:
Germany has also warned Turkey not to continue its exploration if it wants to progress in EU-Turkey relations. Read more about this here:
Germany is worried about the chance of conflict between the two countries and is trying its best to find a solution. According to Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp- Karrenbauer, Germany enjoys the trust of both countries, which allows them to have an influence.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron has also intervened and expressed his full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, after a meeting he had with Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades.
Macron said,’ I want to reiterate France’s full solidarity with Cyprus, but also with Greece in the face of Turkey’s violation of their sovereignty.’
The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, held a meeting with all party leaders, to brief them about the meeting he had with the European council and also about Turkish developments. The opposition party led by Alexis Tsipras has demanded a meeting with the top decision-making officials about defense and foreign affairs.