Αthens is closely monitoring Turkey’s latest moves in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean after a series of what it views as suspicious incidents.
The most recent concerns the passage of a Turkish fishing fleet not only within an area of a potential Greek exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but also within its territorial waters.
More specifically, on Wednesday the Hellenic Coast Guard was alerted when Turkish fishing boats moved within the coastal zone south of Gavdos island, off Crete. The Turkish fishermen complained of bad weather and asked to be allowed to move their trawlers into Cretan waters. Finally, some of them were taken yesterday to Kissamos Bay and others off the coast of Souda.
The movement of Turkish fishing boats south of Crete has alarmed Athens, given that in recent years Ankara has invested in the development of an industrial fishing fleet with the aim of joining the competition in the Eastern Mediterranean, and to also support its claims in the region.
Ankara has been relentless in its effort to show Athens that there are clear Turkish interests in the area south of Crete, given that the illegal Turkish-Libyan maritime memorandum covers areas south and east of the island.
Moreover, Turks treat Gavdos at best (as there are some who doubt that it has been legally assigned to Greece) as an island that has no continental shelf and as such cannot have an impact on the calculation of EEZs or other maritime zones.