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Turkey Plans Live-Fire Naval Exercises Near Greek Islands

December 27, 2017

Only a few weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Athens in a bid to improve relations, Turkey’s Navy has issued a NAVTEX warning vessels to stay away from areas near Greek islands where it plans to conduct live ammunition maneuvers.

The order said the activities would go on for all of 2018 and will include Greek waters near the island of Kos, which almost touches the Turkish coast, as well as anti-submarine warfare exercises near Lesbos, where thousands of refugees and migrants unleashed by human traffickers in Turkey have landed after fleeing war and strife in the Middle East.

Erdogan said he would try to decrease tensions that also included repeated violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets and Turkish warships going past Greek islands but is keeping them going.

The Greek TV station Antenna said Greece has not countered with anti-NAVTEX orders but would appeal to the Spanish NATO commander in the region. Both Greece and Turkey belong to NATO, which has said nothing about Turkish provocations and nor has the European Union that Turkey wants to join, nor the United States or United Nations.

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