In another move to raise tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean that torpedoes the efforts for restarting exploratory talks with Greece, Turkey has issued a new illegal Navtex for the Oruç Reis vessel to carry out activities 7.5 nautical miles south of the island of Kastellorizo and within the Greek continental shelf, valid from today and until October 22.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the unauthorized Turkish Navtex for exploration south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo within the Greek continental shelf constitutes a major escalation and direct threat to peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

This move comes “just a few days after the meeting of the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, during which Turkey promised to propose a date for the start of a new round of exploratory talks, thus demonstrating that Turkey remains “unreliable” and unwilling to truly engage in dialogue”, says the Foreign Ministry in a statement. The ministry also emphasizes that Turkey “insists on aggressive and illegal tactics of past centuries, clearly confirming its role as the pre-eminent factor of instability and delinquency in the region. From Libya to the Aegean and Cyprus, Syria, Iraq and now Nagorno-Karabakh”.

Shortly after this announcement, the station of the Hydrographic Service of the Navy of Heraklion, Crete, issued an anti-NAVTEX. Specifically, the Greek Navtex states that the Turkish Navtex is “illegal” and concerns “unauthorized activity” that “covers the Greek continental shelf”. It is also emphasized that the Heraklion station has the jurisdiction to issue messages in the specific marine area.