On Wednesday, the Greek Navy deployed battleships in the Aegean Sea in response to Turkish exploration activities, a Greek navy source stated.
“Navy units have been deployed since yesterday in the south and southeastern Aegean,” the source added.
The Greek navy announced that they were on full alert to respond to any Turkish violations. They called on seafarers to ignore a maritime restriction in the area issued by Turkey.
The move came after the Greek Foreign Ministry on Tuesday formally protested to Ankara, following the announcement that a Turkish drilling ship would conduct explorations in the area south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo in the southeastern Aegean.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called separate meetings with Greek party leaders on Thursday and Friday to brief them on “national issues,” his office said.
Athens said the Turkish surveys in a section of the Greek continental shelf would escalate tensions, leading to Turkey disputing Greek maritime rights.
“We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the region,” the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.
The EU has openly criticised what it says is Turkey’s illegal drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus, as well as Ankara’s actions in Libya and Syria.