Turkey: New NAVTEX for Oruc Reis – One step closer to conflict

Turkey books the area south of Rhodes and east-southeast of Karpathos until November 4, well within the EEZ that Greece has rights on

Three days before the end of the previous Navtex for seismic surveys by Oruc Reis in the area south of Kastellorizo,  Ankara issued a new Navtex, announcing the continuation of work until midnight on Wednesday, November 4th.

The new research area of ​​Oruc Reis and his auxiliary ships Ataman and Cengiz Han, accompanied by Turkish warships, extends to the southwestern border of the zone where the Turkish fleet was moving in the previous days.

The western limit of the area where the seismic surveys of Oruc Reis are expected to take place reaches the zone of the demarcated Greek Exclusive Economic Zone, based on the agreement of August 6th with Egypt.

Greece immediately responded with an anti-Navtex and a Foreign Affairs Ministry press release.

Turkey’s issuing of a new illegal Navtex, in which it reserves the maritime region within the Greek continental shelf south of Rhodes for illegal seismic surveys, shows yet again that Turkey, through its ongoing and escalating provocative conduct in violation of international legality, has complete disregard for the fundamental rules of International Law. It behaves like a pariah-state that aims to destabilise the region and dramatically increase tensions.

This illegal action contravenes any effort towards de-escalation.

At the same time, the Turkish side’s repeated illegal actions, which defy the constant appeals of the International Community, including the recent Conclusions of the European Council on the immediate cessation of these actions, expose the Turkish side even further.

Greece unequivocally condemns this unacceptable conduct, which essentially further undermines the prospect of a constructive dialogue, and calls on Turkey to immediately retract the illegal Navtex it issued in the early hours of this morning.

In this context, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias issued instructions for a demarche to be made immediately to the Turkish side and for Greece’s allies and partners to be notified of Turkey’s ongoing provocative conduct.

See Also:

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Military circles estimate that Tayyip Erdogan has decided to continue the seismic investigations from Oruc Reis until December, when the EU leaders have announced they will consider measures against Turkey in case it continuous to provoke and question the sovereign of Greece and Cyprus.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has announced that Oruc Reis will continue its seismic surveys for two more months.

The Greek Ministry of Defence in particular is examining the best way to use the naval forces that monitor the course of Oruc Reis and the Turkish warships that accompany it, in order to avoid the stress of the crews of the Greek fleet and the ships themselves.

On Friday, Ankara announced military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean on October 27th, 28th and 29th, despite NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announcing a moratorium on exercises during the Greek and Turkish national holidays (October 28th and 29th).