ATHENS – A Turkish energy research vessel was spotted in the boundaries of Greece’s Continental Shelf on Jan. 31, around 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) off the island of Kastellorizo, which is near the Turkish coast.
It’s believed accidental and blamed due to bad weather that may have forced the Oruc Reis to veer off course, said Kathimerini, which said the Greek frigate HS Nikiforos Fokas wasn sent to monitor its activity.
That came as Turkey has been ratcheting up tension in the Aegean and East Mediterranean and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would drill off Crete as part of a maritime deal with Libya dividing the seas between them.
There was no Turkish warship accompanying the Oruc Reis although the entry into Greek waters came as Turkey issued a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) reserving a maritime area in blocks 4 and 5 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where it has ships drilling.
That’s in violation of international laws that Turkey doesn’t recognize unless invoking them in its favor and as Greek Premier and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is trying to build an international alliance against growing Turkish aggression over the seas.