Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The Antalya Navtex station on Tuesday announced plans for a Turkish seismic survey south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo from July 21-August 2.
Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic exploration ship is planned to arrive in the area.
Greek armed forces have been placed on alert.
Increased activity has been observed at the Aksaz naval base, with 15 naval 15 reportedly having left there placing Athens and the Hellenic Navy on alert.
The chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Konstantinos Floros, has expedited his return from Cyprus.
With Turkey’s behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean becoming increasingly provocative, Greece has been bracing for a possible scaling up of tensions, amid fears that Turkish officials will make good on threats to launch hydrocarbon explorations off the islands of Crete or Kastellorizo.
There have been concerns over a possible Turkish intervention in the East Med in a bid to prevent an agreement on the delineation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Greece and Egypt which is currently being discussed between officials of the two countries.
During a visit to Athens Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Turkey to stop drilling for natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Also Tuesday, a pair of Turkish F-16 fighter jets entered Greek airspace at 2.23 p.m. and flew over the islets of Strongyli and Megisti near Kastellorizo at an altitude of 12,500 feet.
On July 15, Turkey also issued a new Navigational Telex (Navtex), reserving a maritime area within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for drilling activities.
The new Navtex concerns the activities of the Turkish drillship Yavuz, and came into force as of July 18, with the new drilling is expected to last through August 20.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, along with the Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have issued multiple calls to the EU for additional sanctions against Turkey, which is described as the regional troublemaker in the region. The EU has agreed to instruct its relevant bodies to draft potential sanctions that could be imposed on persons involved in Turkey's drilling designs that have been increasingly frustrating Greece and Cyprus.