Turkey is planning to create a new major crisis with Athens when it begins drilling for oil and gas within Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to the south of Crete in September.
Athens has elaborated four deterrence plans, while at the same bidding to keep channels of communication open with Ankara, according to Kathimerini.
Although where Turkey plans to drill for natural resources is recognised as Greece’s EEZ by the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Turkey is one of only 15 countries in the entire world to not sign or ratify the Charter.
Instead of following international law, Turkey created its own maritime agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood government of Libya, that can be seen below. It has been internationally condemned and not found recognition or support from any other country in the world.
It is in the area south of Crete that Turkey plans to drill.
According to Kathimerini, the first of the four deterrence plans stipulates that if a Turkish research vessel is dispatched with an escort of Turkish frigates, but does not immediately proceed with research activities, a similar number of Greek vessels will be sent to the area, and will remain there for as long as the Turkish vessels do.
The second scenario will see Greek ships cut cables or prevent them from reaching the bottom of the seabed if Turkish vessels attempt to lay them out for seismic surveys.
The third scenario, which Kathimerini says is deemed the least likely, concerns the possibility of Turkey sending a floating drilling rig. In this situation, Greece will do whatever is possible to prevent the Turkish drill from reaching the seabed.
In the final scenario predicted, Turkey could dispatch multiple research vessels to different areas of Greece’s EEZ. Again, the instructions to prevent surveying or drilling at any point from Rhodes to Crete are clear.