One of three Turkish drill ships was seen sailing south of Kastellorizo on Thursday morning and was passing the strait between Karpathos and Rhodes, marine traffic trackers are showing.
The Kanuni sailed from Mesrin on Turkey’s southeast coast and is reportedly headed to Istanbul, sailing through sensitive territory.
At the same time, Turkey’s Oruc Reis survey vessel continues to remain in an area within Greece’s continental shelf, causing a fresh spike in tension with Greece.
In Athens, meanwhile, Minister of State Giorgos Ierapetritis said on Wednesday night that Greece would consider any violation of the 6-nautical-mile boundary a violation of its “red lines.”
“National sovereignty is a red line and when we say national sovereignty, we obviously mean national territorial waters, which, today, are defined at 6 nautical miles,” he said speaking on Alpha television.
The passage of the Kanuni comes as Athens seeks to secure a firm response from the European Union towards Ankara’s renewed aggressive stance in recent days at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.