The Greek Navy deployed military battleships in the Aegean Sea after it declared a state of alert due to Turkish activities to explore energy resources, according to a source in the Navy today, Wednesday.
The military action comes in the wake of the Greek Foreign Ministry’s official protest against Ankara’s announcement that it will send a Turkish drilling ship to carry out exploration operations in the marine region south of Kastelorizo island in the southeast of the Aegean Sea.The military source said that “the marine units were deployed since Tuesday in the south and southeast of the Aegean Sea,” refusing to reveal more details, adding that the units are ready to respond to any activity.
The Greek navy also called on the navigators to ignore the naval restrictions in the area issued by Turkey, and the office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that he called for separate meetings with Greek party leaders on Thursday and Friday, to inform them of national issues.
Athena said that the Turkish surveys in the Greek continental shelf area constitute an escalation in the tension in the area where the two countries are disputing maritime rights.
“We demand that Turkey immediately cease its illegal activities that violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and stability in the region,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The European Union expressed its dissatisfaction with what it considers illegal Turkish exploration of oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus, in addition to Ankara’s moves to support the government of national reconciliation recognized by the United Nations in Libya.
Erdogan’s decision to convert the former Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul also constituted a mosque as another reason for tension between the two parties, despite American and Russian calls for him to reverse his decision and condemn France and Pope Francis.
Culture Minister Lina Mandoni described the decision as “a provocation to the civilized world.”