Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday lodged a demarche with Turkey’s Foreign Ministry through its embassy in Ankara, following the new illegal NAVTEX issued for the maritime zone south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo from July 21-August 2.
“Today’s announcement of Turkish surveys in a section of the Greek continental shelf through a new illegal NAVTEX constitutes an escalation of tension in our region,” the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Yesterday, Ankara declared that the research ship ‘Oruc Reis’ will sail in the area. Since then, the Greek armed forces have been put on high alert throughout the territory.
Athens said that the new “illegal” NAVTEX “constitutes an escalation of tension in the region” and “highlights Turkey’s persistence in violating international legality and its complete contempt for International Law, the International Law of the Sea, the rules governing good neighbourly relations and the urgings of the European Union.”
Greek authorities have already raised the issue with the European Union, NATO and the United Nations, as well as with capitals of permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the region. The only path to stability in the region is respect for international legality,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the European Union will have no choice but to impose sanctions on Turkey if the latter continues to create tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Turkey, once again, is adding another link to its aggressive actions against Greece, against Cyprus, and finally against the European Union as a whole,” he said. “Greece is monitoring all developments with confidence, assuredness and absolute readiness.”