Orc Reis, Turkey

Turkey prepares another provocative move in the Aegean, this time oil drilling in Greek territorial waters, south of the island of Kastellorizo despite warnings from the European Union of sanction over its drilling off Cyprus, reported Greek newspaper Kathimerini on Sunday.

According to the report, Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has filed a request with the leadership of the Turkish Navy to conduct seismic research in an area stretching from the south of Rhodes to beyond Kastellorizo after August 15.

The provocative move comes at a time where the USA, Greece, Cyprus and indeed the EU have strained relations with Turkey all of which have repeatedly warned against the illegal drilling

The Greek government is monitoring the situation closely and expects that Ankara will proceed with plans to dispatch a fourth vessel to the region, as confirmed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on July 16, immediately after the EU unveiled its measures against Turkish hydrocarbon exploration.

Following Turkey’s Yavuz and Fatih drillships, and the Barbaros seismic research vessel operating in the area, the arrival of the Oruç Reis would be seen as an ‘’additional step in Ankara’s attempt to corner Cyprus and prevent it from its own plans to drill for hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone,’’ Kathimerini said.