Turkish Navy corvette TCG Buyukada exited Greece’s territorial waters at 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a statement by the country’s National Defense General Staff (GEETHA).
The Turkish vessel entered Greek waters between Evia and Andros at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, continued southward between Kea and Kythnos, and passed Serifos and Milos before being spotted close to Santorini.
Newly-installed Defense Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday played down the incident saying that Ankara is used to taking such actions when a new defense minister is appointed in Greece.
Dendias said a Greek frigate had been monitoring the Turkish vessel. “No one is entitled to sail around the Aegean without us knowing where exactly they are and what exactly they are doing,” he said.
Meanwhile Tuesday, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos slammed Turkey for maintaining a seismic survey vessel off the southern coast of Cyprus, in the latter’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Referring to Turkey’s “recent provocations in Cyprus’s EEZ,” Venizelos accused Ankara of “creating a crisis in an already unstable region.” He was speaking in the Greek Parliament, which was hosting a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Group for the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the Sub-Committee on Partnerships.
During the session, a member of Turkey’s ruling AK party, Osman Askin Bak, defended Turkey’s right to conduct searches in Cyprus’s EEZ, but also claimed that there was “no border issue between Turkey and Greece” and that “the whole of the continental shelf is accessible.”