Turkey has extended its navigation advisory (NAVTEX) about “seismic surveys” for oil and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, south of the island of Kastellorizo, until Thursday.
The original NAVTEX, whose legality is contested by Greece and others, was to expire Sunday, at midnight.
The survey concerns research vessels Oruc Reis, Ataman and Cengiz Han in an area bounded by the following coordinates: 33 55.22 N – 027 59.83 E; 34 58.25 N – 030 31.50 E
34 18.18 N – 030 54.52 E; 34 17.03 N – 030 06.12 E; 33 49.84 N – 030 06.78 E; 33 41.25 N – 028 46.16 E; 33 47.41 N – 028 21.48 E; 33 53.37 N – 027 59.90 E.
Other ships are advised to keep a distance of 6 nautical mies (11.1 kilometers) from the zone. The three research vessels are accompanied by Turkish Navy vessels, whose presence actually complicates attempts at research if not hinders them altogether. They are closely monitored by Greek Navy vessels.
“By continuing its provocative behavior, the only thing Turkey does is to show the whole world that its references to international law and dialogue are clearly a pretense,” Greek officials commented Sunday evening, after the NAVTEX extension. They added that they regard it as a move anticipating the ratification of the recent Egypt-Greece maritime zones delineation agreement by the Greek Parliament on Wednesday.