Turkey issued a Navigation Telex (NAVTEX) announcing an extension for a second time to the Oruc Reis’ research activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, valid until September 1.
The NAVTEX was supposed to expire on Thursday night, following its extension from August 23.
According to the NAVTEX, the Oruç Reis and the two accompanying research vessels – Ataman and Cengiz Han – will continue their surveys for another four days in the same area, south of the island of Kastellorizo.
In response, the Hellenic Navy’s Hydrographic Service (HNHS) issued an counter-NAVTEX which emphasises that the illegal Turkish NAVTEX is invalid and has been issued by an unauthorised service.
The Greek NAVTEX said that an “unauthorized station” has broadcast an advisory “referring to unauthorized and illegal activity in an area that overlaps the Greek continental shelf.” It said that “all marines are requested to disregard [the Turkish] Navtex.” More details are unknown.
The latest NAVTEX comes as Greece, France, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus hold military exercises.
Turkey’s extension of the NAVTEX “proves once again who it is that wants the de-escalation of tension, and who does not,” Greek diplomatic sources said.