The Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis was spotted on Monday off the Western coast of Cyprus and in the area delineated by Turkey’s fresh Navtex.
According to reliable information from within Cyprus circles, Kathimerini Cyprus' Apostolos Tomaras reports, the research vessel is moving along the triangle on the eastern extremity of Turkey’s Navtex, as depicted in the map. The location falls within the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ, as delineated in 2019 when the Republic of Cyprus sent coordinates to the UN.
According to the same information, the Turkish research vessel has not entered maritime areas falling within the Greek continental shelf.
The same sources say the Oruc Reis is accompanied by two auxiliary vessels, while 10 Turkish warships are stationed in the broader region.
Athens issues Navtex to counter Ankara's activities near Kastellorizo
Athens responded to Turkey’s decision to issue a navigational telex reserving an area south of Kastellorizo for seismic research with a counter-Navtex, calling on all vessels to disregard Ankara’s message.
The Greek Navtex said that an “unauthorized station” has broadcast a message referring to “unauthorized and illegal activity" in an area that overlaps the Greek continental shelf.
“All mariners are requested to disregard [the] Navtex,” the message said.
Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said earlier on Monday that the Oruc Reis seismic vessel has arrived in its area of operation.
Ankara is angered by a new deal signed last week between Greece and Egypt delineating maritime boundaries and the countries' exclusive economic zones for drilling rights.
Turkey has signed a similar deal with the internationally recognized government of Libya in 2019, which was dismissed by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, who said it infringed on their national sovereignty in the Mediterranean.
In Athens, an emergency meeting of the country’s top decision-making body on foreign affairs and defense matters, KYSEA, was held to discuss developments in the region. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Greek FM: ‘We won’t be blackmailed’
Nikos Dendias responded to Turkey’s fresh Navtex for seismic research operations over the next two weeks south of the island of Kastellorizo, as well as to the broader mobilization of Turkish military units, by asserting that “Greece will not be blackmailed,” referring to Turkey’s Navtex issued Monday as “illegal.”
According to the Foreign Minister, this action "is a new serious escalation and exposes in the most evident way Turkey’s destabilizing and threatening role, and comes at a time when Greece has proven in practice its commitment to international legitimacy."
“Greece will not accept any threats. It will defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights. We call on Turkey to immediately end its illegal actions that undermine peace and security in the region,” Dendias stressed.