Turkish vessel conducting research between Rhodes and Kastellorizo

A Turkish research vessel, Bilim-2, entered Greek territorial waters early on Wednesday between the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo, in the eastern Aegean.

According to a naval report issued by Turkish authorities, the vessel was scheduled to conduct oceanographic reseach until Thursday.

The area designated for exploration was deemed to be within the limits of the Greek continental shelf.

The Greek Embassy in Ankara asked the Turkish government for clarifications given that Greece had not been notified of the Turkish vessel’s expedition according to the International Law of the Sea.

Greek diplomatic sources last week criticized a note verbale forwarded by Turkey to the United Nations in response to a diplomatic message sent to the international organization by Greece last month.

The Turkish verbal note challenged Greece’s sovereign rights south of Rhodes and Kastellorizo and the right of the Greek islands to a continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Turkey claims that the Aegean Sea ought to be treated as a special case. It also backed the Turkish government’s decision to grant oil and gas exploration rights for areas deemed to fall within the Greek continental shelf.

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