Turkey issued a NAVTEX on Tuesday for so-called “seismic research” in the area of the Greek continental shelf and set the Greek Armed Forces on alert.
In particular, Ankara plans to conduct research in the sea area south of Rhodes and Kastelorizo and southeast of Crete, has blocked the sea area, according to Navtex published by the Antalya station.
Seismic vessel Oruc Reis is to conduct this research for hydrocarbon together accompanied by Ataman Supply Ship, and the Cengizhan Anchor Handling Vesse. The Turkish Navy will also be present for seismic research activities, some Turkish media report.
The NAVigational TEleX (NAVTEX) is valid from July 21 until August 2, 2020.
According to Greek media, the Turkish NAVTEX as well as the moving of a good dozen of warhsips of the Turkish Navy have set the Greek Armed Forces on alert. Military units from Evros in the North-East down to Kastelorizo in South-East have been reportedly set on state of readiness and officers on leave have been ordered to return to their units.
According to reports, some 10-15 Turkish warships have departed the Naval base of Aksaz on the south-east coast of Turkey in Marmaris, Mugla.
At the same time, Turkey deployed F-16 fighter jets that conducted overflights over the islands of Stroggyli and Megisti.
Media report that hea dof the Greek General Staff Konstantinos Floros hurried back to Athens from Cyprus on Tuesday, where he was attending events to commemorate the anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus.
Along with the seismic surveys in the East Mediterranean Sea, Turkey has issued also another NAVTEX to conduct real ammunition exercises in the heart of the Aegean Sea.
This notice has been issued by the Station in Izmir and is valid from July 20 (yesterday) until July 20, 2020.
Along with Navtex for seismic surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean, Navtex issued by the Smyrna station is in force since Monday, with which it commits a large area in the heart of the Aegean for real fire exercises.
Is Turkey trying to create a real crisis with Greece in particular and in the East Mediterranean in general as Egypt has received the green light from its Parliament for a military intervention in Libya and is proceeding in talks with Greece for the demarkation of Exclusive Economic Zone? Is Ankara is set for a fait a complit in the area it claims it has delimited its maritime boundaries with Libya?
The Turkish warships have departed at the same time where a fleet of dozens of Turkish fishing vessels are crossing the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea in order to fish in the Libyan Sea.
PS I wouldn’t be surprised if Ankara “stages” an Search and Rescue incident in what it will call “disputed areas.”