In what appears to be an effort to steer clear of Greek-Turkish tensions, the British Royal Navy has reportedly canceled a scheduled military exercise off the southeastern Aegean island of Karpathos, which had been announced in a navigational telex (navtex) issued by Ankara, to the outrage of Athens.
It was the second time in the last two weeks that Turkey had issued a navtex announcing that a third country would hold military exercises within Greek or Cypriot territorial waters.
In late July, Ankara had issued a navtex announcing an American military vessel would be conducting activities within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Through its ambassador in Nicosia,Washington officially denied having asked Turkey to issue a navtex regarding the American warship.
Meanwhile, Turkish naval activities off Cyprus’s coast are set to continue after Ankara issued another navtex yesterday, reserving an area that borders the island’s EEZ for a military exercise on August 17.
At the same time, Turkish seismic exploration vessel the Barbaros remains in plots 5 and 6 of Cyprus’s EEZ, along with Turkish warships.
Turkey’s presence in Cyprus’s EEZ is seen as a show of force as it doesn’t recognize Nicosia’s right to explore and drill for natural gas, saying this right also belongs to the Turkish Cypriots.