Turkey escalates tensions – NAVTEX south of Crete & Gavdos

Turkey seeks to create a precedent

In a highly symbolic move, Turkey issued four NAVTEXs for naval exercises in a large area starting in Kastelorizo ​​and Rhodes continues in international waters south of Crete and reaching as far as the Gulf of Sirte in Libya.
Apparently, neither the date given by the four Navtex for the two-day Turkish “exercise”, May 29 the day of the fall of Constantinople, nor the area in which the Turks declare that they will conduct the naval exercises is accidental.

This areas are depicted on Turkish maps with the supposed “Blue Homeland” and coincides with the aspirations of the Turks to usurp maritime zones that Athens has full rights on.

The Turkish Navtex warn that the naval exercises will start today, Friday, May 29, at 11:00 and will last until tomorrow, Saturday, May 30, at 18:30.

Will there be Turkish exercises in an area in international waters off Kastelorizo, Rhodes, Gavdos and Crete?

In response to this question, National Defense Ministry officials said that in essence, the Turks would replace two of the frigates patrolling off Libya with two others. Six Turkish frigates are currently sailing off Libya. The Navtex concerns the two frigates leaving the offshore area of ​​Libya and the other two Turkish frigates that will take their place in the sea area between Rhodes, Crete and Libya.

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Will they conduct exercises and what kind of exercises are the ones that the crews of the Turkish frigates will carry out today and tomorrow? This question cannot be easily answered, after all, the area where the six Turkish frigates are moving is in international waters.

With the publication of the Navtex, the Turks seek to create a precedent: To show the area between Rhodes, Crete and Libya as an area where they have vital interests and therefore to claim that in the future they are legitimized to proceed with other actions.

It is recalled that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has stated that scientific surveys will be carried out to locate hydrocarbons in 2020 in the maritime area included in the Turkish-Libya memorandum.