Greece Plans Four-Pronged Strategy Over Turkish Drilling

Αssociated Press

FILE - Turkey's 230-meter (750-foot) drillship 'Yavuz' crosses the Marmara Sea on its way to the Mediterranean, from the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ATHENS – Expecting Turkey to begin drilling in September for energy in Greek waters, the New Democracy government has reportedly put together four schemes to stop it, but still aiming for diplomacy, which has failed outright.

Turkey claims waters around Greek islands and the Continental Shelf under an unlawful deal with Libya dividing the seas between them, which no other country in the world recognizes.

The first scenario, said Kathimerini in a report on the deterrence plan, is that if  Turkish drill ship is escorted by a warship but doesn't begin operation that a similar number of Greek naval vessels will go to the area and stay there.

In the second, if a Turkish research vessel lays out cables for seismic surveys, Greece will use wireless techniques to stop it or cut the cable to prevent them from reaching the seabed with no explanation of what would happen if a Turkish warship intervenes.

If Turkey sends a floating drilling rig the orders are to prevent its cables from reaching the sea bottom although given the size of all three of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation’s drillships, it would be impossible for the Greek frigates to prevent this.

In this case the use of warning shots to prevent drilling has not been ruled out, the paper said, with no clarification of what would happen if Turkish warships fired back or a conflict ensued.

In the fourth, if there is a combined mission of Turkish research ships in different parts of the Greek continental shelf the instructions are to stop it but the report didn't say by what means other than to say they were clear but they weren't.