Turkish oceanographic research vessel “Bilim 2” set sail and started research in the waters between the islands of Rhodes and Kastelorizo, in South Eastern Greece. Reason enough for Athens to protest, even though Greece has failed so far to declare its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Even though the relevant maritime note issued by Ankara determines the research in “international waters”, some of the research conducted by Bilim 2 are taking place in the area of Greek continental shelf or overlap with it.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras stated the following in response to journalists’ questions regarding oceanographic exploration by the Turkish vessel “Bilim2” in international waters:
“On 18 March, Turkey’s Antalya station broadcast a NAVTEX to the effect that the Turkish oceanography vessel “Bilim2”, with belongs to the Institute of Marine Sciences of Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, would be carrying out oceanographic research from 18 to 21 March 2013, in international waters, a section of which overlaps the Greek continental shelf.
The carrying out of marine science research in waters over the Greek continental shelf requires prior notification, with the provision of all relevant data to the Greek authorities. As there was no such notification from the Turkish side, the Greek Embassy in Ankara was instructed to act accordingly.” (via Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs)