The standoff between Greece and Turkey is intensifying, as the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis was located sailing on the borders of the illegal Turkish NAVTEX, approaching Kastellorizo, just over 12 miles from the island of Strongyli, approximately 14 miles southeast of Kastellorizo.
The tense Greek-Turkish stand-off in the southeastern Mediterranean region is still playing out, with the the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis sailing approximately 18 nautical miles southeast of Kastellorizo, the closest distance both in the last week and since the beginning of the crisis. The vessel is being escorted by two other ships, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, as well as small fleet of Turkish warships.
At noon on Sunday, the voyage of the Turkish research ship raised questions about the course of the Turkish fleet and Ankara’s intention to send the Oruc Reis even closer to the Greek island.
The Hellenic Ministry of National Defence is closely monitoring its path in an area of the Greek continental shelf. According to the Turkish Navtex last Sunday, October 11, the Turkish research ship could reach up to a distance of 6.5 miles from Kastellorizo, conducting research at the border of Greek territorial waters.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to establish a two-pronged disputation; namely, that Greek islands have no right to sea zones other than the Greek territorial sea of 6 nautical miles and that Athens has no right to extend Greek territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.
Greek government circles are speaking of a “red October” in Greek-Turkish relations, with Ankara escalating the tension in every possible way, and for no reason, building an agenda every day with more and more disputes and claims against Athens.
In the most recent of Turkish escalations, Ankara decided to arbitrarily define, by law, the Turkish area of jurisdiction for search and rescue operation in the Aegean up to the middle of the archipelago, at the limit of the 25th meridian. With maps released by Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, Ankara is trying to infringe on an area under Athens’ jurisdiction for search and rescue in the Aegean.