Greek and Turkish fleets in nervous stand-off in south-east Med, after Turkey issues provocative Navtex

Both countries have deployed warships in the region close to Kastelorizo

The publication of the Turkish Navtex for seismic surveys by the Turkish research ship Oruc Reis over the following 12 days until August 2 has put the Greek Armed Forces on the maximum level of alert.

“The time has come,” a senior official told, explaining that if the Turkish side persists and sends the survey ship with the escort of warships to the area 100-120 miles south of Kastelorizo, the Greek government is determined to plan its response based on the “red” lines that for several weeks now, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias have drawn up and made clear to friends and allies.

Along with the intense diplomatic activity – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested to the Turkish government on Tuesday – the Ministry of National Defence has proceeded to deploy navy units in the southeastern Mediterranean region, focusing on Kastelorizo.

According to information, similar military movements have been recorded by the Turkish Defence Ministry, as more than 10 warships of the Turkish fleet have left the Aksaz Naval Base (opposite Rhodes).

Until Wednesday morning, the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis remained moored in Antalya.

“We are ready to deploy even more warships in the wider area as soon as we are given the relevant instructions,” an Armed Forces officer told, noting that the morale of the Fleet crews is high.