Turkey sends out research ship in latest Aegean action


Turkey issued two Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) advisories this week announcing that its survey vessel Cesme will be conducting research between the Greek islands of Skyros, Evia and Psarra, and reserved wide swathes of the central Aegean for military exercises.

Greek diplomatic sources derided the move as part of longstanding efforts by Ankara to dispute Greece’s sovereignty in parts of the Aegean and, in particular, the area between the islands of Chios, near the Turkish coast, and Skyros.

At the same time, Turkey is continuing work it started in February to dredge the seabed in the Greek continental shelf between Rhodes and Katselorizo and lay underwater cables in an area stretching from Turkey to southeastern Crete.

The NOTAMs follow air space violations last week by several Turkish military aircraft, two of which engaged in a mock dogfight with Greek F-16s.