ATHENS – A standoff in the East Mediterranean has continued with Greece relying on statements of protest to denounce Turkey's ongoing plan to hunt for oil and gas off Greek islands, including Kastellorizo.
The Greek Foreign Ministry criticized Turkey for issuing another navigational warning (NAVTEX) reserving waters in Greek seas territory for the Orus Reis energy research vessel up to Nov.14.
“Turkey confirms once again that it continues to ignore the fundamental rules of International Law,” the statement said, adding that the decision “creates further tension in a vulnerable area.”
The statement added that,, “These actions show once again that Turkey continues to act in defiance of the International Community's calls, including last October's European Council Conclusions, which called on Turkey to end these actions.”
That was in reference to a meeting between European Union and Turkish officials where Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis withdrew his demand for sanctions to give diplomacy a chance.
That blew up in his face when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seeing no penalties imposed then, seized the moment to send the Oruc Reis and warships into Greek waters, the EU saying it would do nothing until the end of the year.
Greek and Turkish warships continue to shadow each other in the seas, adding to worries there could be a conflict but with the waters otherwise calm as Greece has been building an international alliance against Turkey.