According to the Ankara-based Navigational TeleX (NAVTEX), illegal Turkish drilling in Cypriot waters is expected to begin on July 18 and will continue until August 18.
NAVTEX in detail:
TURNHOS N / W: 0950/20
1. DRILLING OPERATIONS, BY YAVUZ, ERTUGRUL BEY, OSMAN BEY AND ORHAN BEY BETWEEN 18 JUL-18 AUG 20 IN AREA BOUNDED BY;
34 06.13 N – 031 45.73 E
34 06.13 N – 031 57.80 E
33 56.18 N – 031 57.80 E
33 56.18 N – 031 45.73 E
WIDE BERTH REQUESTED.
2. ALL VESSELS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED NOT TO ENTER TO THIS AREA.
3. CANCEL THIS MESSAGE 182059Z AUG 20.
This action is part of Ankara’s coordinated effort to create hostility in the region. Turkey has recently been embarking on a series of provocative moves, both in terms of rhetoric and in terms of decisions, including the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Officials of the Greek Ministry of National Defence consider it very probable that the Turks will escalate their challenges in the near future, attempting a “loud” violation of Greece’s sovereign rights, even in the summer, in order to test the reflexes of Athens and the EU, especially since their own summer season is emptied of foreign tourists.
Turkey already announced its intentions of sending a Turkish research vessel to either the area southeast of Crete or in the area of Kastellorizo island.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu noted on Monday Ankara’s readiness to drill in the area with companies from Britain, Russia, Italy or the United States.
Given the above, Athens is on high alert and is making a series of diplomatic moves to shield itself from a possibility of war with Turkey.
Despite this possibility, Turkey maintains that it will begin illegal drilling in Greek waters in September, which of course has received little to no condemnation from the European Union.
It remains to be seen how the EU will react when Turkey begin illegal drilling in Cyprus on Saturday.