Turkey issued new NAVTEX, likely to revive tensions with Greece.
Image Credit: Murad Sezer/Reuters
On late Sunday, Turkish authorities issued new NAVTEX for its research seismic vessel, Oruc Reis. As from Monday, the research vessel will carry out seismic activity, in the East Mediterranean, south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The activity will occur until October 22nd. Two other vessels will join Oruc Reis in its seismic studies -the Ataman and Cengiz Han. The Oruc Reis will conduct seismic studies 6.5 nautical miles away from Greek shores. This will likely revive tensions with Greece, as it is considered to be a major escalation by Greek authorities.
Both countries have been locked in dispute over a zone in the Eastern Mediterranean, which both countries say it is theirs. The area is known to have natural gas reserves. The ever escalated tensions prompted several European countries to show support to Greece, while countries like France and Italy carried out a joint military exercise with Greece, in a show of strength directed at Turkey. Turkey answered by doing similar naval drills. Read more about the French support to Greece here :
Read more about the Eunomia joint exercise carried out by France, Italy, Cyrus and Greece here :
Read more about the dispute here :
Greek Foreign Ministry said that the Turkish NAVTEX is unauthorised and it,
Constitutes a major escalation and direct threat to peace and security in the region.Greek FM.
Greece asked Turkey to revoke its decision. A few days ago Turkey showed its commitment in proposing a day for explanatory talks with Greece. Last month, Turkey withdrew its research vessel Oruc Reis, which is used to conduct seismic studies in the disputed economic exclusive zone. This was done to permit diplomatic talks with the European Union before the EU summit. Europe has threatened Turkey with penalties if it continued its operations in East Mediterranean.