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Greece warns Turkey over planned drilling off south Aegean islands

The Turkish ambassador in Athens was summoned to the Greek Foreign Ministry on Monday and was handed out a demarche, a protest note, about Ankara’s plans to start drilling off the islands of Rhodes, Karpathos and Crete.

A few hours earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikos Dendias, had underlined that Greece was ready to deal with Turkey’s latest challenge, if the neighboring country intended to pursue it. 

The minister was referring to a series of official requests published in the Turkish Government Gazette regarding the granting of permits to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) for maritime research, “exploration and exploitation in regions within Greece’s continental shelf.”

“Turkey is trying to usurp the sovereign rights of Greece,” Dendias said pointing out that this planned drilling action stems from “the null and void Turkey-Libya memorandum.”

The Minister reiterated that “Turkey’s illegal actions do not produce legal effects and are unable to infringe on Greece’s sovereign rights, which are based on International Law and International Law of the Sea.”

“We should be clear on this. Our positions on this specific issue and on the consequences of Turkey’s illegal conduct are a given. Turkey has repeatedly been informed of these positions.  Greece has been and remains fully prepared to respond to this provocation as well, should Turkey decide in the end to go through with it,” Minister Dendias concluded his statement.

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