Athens has responded to Ankara's new Navigation Telex (NAVTEX) for seismic surveys it issued this morning and to be conducted by Turkey's Oruç Reis research ship with a NAVTEX of its own and a comment from General Floros.
The new NAVTEX is in the same area that Turkey threatened to carry out explorations in July, , as reported earlier by Greek City Times.
Greek-Turkish relations are likely to enter a new heightened tension, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being shocked by the Greek-Egyptian Exclusive Economic Zone deal reacted sharply by demanding the Oruç Reis conduct research in Greek maritime space and accompanied by at least seven Turkish warships.
The Greek fleet, however, is in its positions and monitors the movements of Turkish ships.
This development signaled an alarm in Athens and the Greek leadership convened an extraordinary meeting at 12PM local time.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, the Minister of Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and the head of the Greek military Konstantinos Floros, participated in the Government Council of National Security with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
They say that Greece is in full political and operational readiness to deal with Turkish aggression.
Greece has announced its own NAVTEX via the Heraklion station of the Hydrographic Service of the Navy. Effectively, Athens responded to Ankara's provocative announcement of a seismic survey south of Kastelorizo by announcing its own.
The Heraklion station announced that the Turkish station in Antalya does not have the jurisdiction to issue NAVTEX for the specific area. And secondly, it pointed out that the area that is being seized refers to illegal activity and in fact to an area that covers the Greek continental shelf. In fact, the sailors are called to ignore the Turkish NAVTEX
The Heraklion NAVTEX:
100640 AUG 20
IRAKLEIO STATION NAVWARN 455/20
SOUTHEAST CRETAN SEA
1. UNAUTHORIZED STATION HAS BROADCAST NAVTEX
MESSAGE NUMBER FA26-1024 / 20 IN HELLENIC NAVTEX
SERVICE AREA, REFFERING TO
UNALET IN UNALET THE UNIVERSITY
IRAKLEIO NAVTEX STATION HAS THE AUTHORITY TO
BROADCAST NAVTEX MESSAGES IN THE AREA.
2. ALL MARINERS ARE REQUESTED TO DISREGARD NAVTEX
MESSAGE NUMBER FA26-1024 / 20.
3. CANCEL THIS MESSAGE 232059 UTC AUG 20.
Meanwhile, the Greek military has suspended all applications and licenses for military personnel who were scheduled to take leave or holidays.
According to Army Voice, the only exceptions to those approved or applied to take leave are those on sick leave, maternity leave (for women) and parental leave (for men).
General Floros also reassured Greeks that "All is well, all will be well!" suggesting that the Greek military has full confidence in dealing with this latest bout of Turkish aggression.