Turkish navtex reserves central Aegean sea areas

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Turkey published on Saturday a navigational telex (navtex) reserving two sea areas between the islands of Skyros, Agios Efstratios and Lesvos for hydrographic surveys by its research vessel Cesme.

The navtex, issued by the Izmir Station of Turkey’s Office of Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography, will remain in place until June 1.

The right to issue such notices in this area belongs to Greece and as this is a hydrographic survey that does not concern the continental shelf, it is seen as another attempt by Turkey to test Greece’s resolve.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Saturday, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias called on Greece’s allies not to give in to Turkey’s blackmail.

“We are not carried away by extreme rhetoric from across the Aegean. We choose the way and the time that we will answer. It is obvious that Turkish aggression is not limited to our country,” Dendias said, referring to the impending invasion of Syria and Ankara’s opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.