With its moves dictated by the maritime accord it signed with Libya in 2019, Turkey has sought again to reassert its presence, felt in recent days in an area east of the island of Crete.
The most recent instance of Ankara’s tactics was the move by Turkish warships to prevent the latest efforts of the Maltese-flagged Nautical Geo research ship of French interests over the last few days to conduct research in an area east of Crete in the context of mapping the possible course of the EastMed pipeline.
More specifically, each time the ship went beyond 6 nautical miles of Greece’s territorial waters, it was prevented by Turkish warships.
Kathimerini had first revealed back on July 11 that the Turkish Navy was preventing Nautical Geo from proceeding with the exploration activities it was undertaking on behalf of the Greek state.
This has resulted in the ship remaining in the wider area north of Crete.
The recent incidents came to light due to Greece’s issue of a Navtex for investigations between September 16 and 22 and an anti-Navtex issued by Turkey, according to which Athens has no jurisdiction outside the 6 nautical miles east of Crete.
Turkish strategists, not least retired rear admiral Cihat Yayci, insist that Turkey should not deviate from the view that, in the Aegean, the Greek islands have 6 miles of territorial waters and no other sea zone, and obviously no continental shelf.