Greece's Foreign Ministry said a "search and rescue area" that covers half the Aegean Sea, as delineated by a new Turkish law, is illegal and will end up endangering lives.
The area, "as well as the one defined by a 1988 law, is illegal to the extent that it includes Greek areas of sovereignty and responsibility... it is not based on operational criteria and it does not serve the purpose of (ensuring) the safety of human lives," the ministry said in an announcement published early Sunday.
"It is obvious this latest move is exclusively politically motivated, Turkey does not hesitate to cause confusion, risking human lives. This move has been added to a long litany of Turkish arbitrary actions and illegal claims in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean that are to blame for the recent unprecedented escalation," continued the ministry announcement.
"Turkey must comply at least with international legal norms," the statement concluded.
Yesterday, Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said on Twitter: "We have extended the search and rescue area in our blue homeland to include the search areas of our national ships operating in the Eastern Mediterranean. Good luck to our country in the new National Search and Rescue Plan."
Fatih’e, Yavuz’a, Kanuni’ye selam olsun.✋#MaviVatanımızda arama ve kurtarma sorumluluk sahamızı, Doğu Akdeniz'de faaliyet gösteren milli gemilerimizin arama sahalarını kapsayacak şekilde genişlettik.
Yeni Ulusal Arama ve Kurtarma Planımız ülkemize hayırlı olsun. pic.twitter.com/EkDqxZaY1c
— Adil Karaismailoğlu (@akaraismailoglu) October 17, 2020
The area he mentioned, included half of the Aegean and he even produced a map of the "Blue Homeland." Thus, the expected Greek response came, with which the Foreign Minister calls on Turkey to "finally reconcile with international law."
Karaismailoğlu's tweet however is not only the indication that Turkey wants to steal Greek islands and maritime space.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers speeches at naval colleges in front of maps of Greek islands and maritime space occupied by Turkey.