Athens, Greece – Tension rose to fever pitch on Tuesday as Greek and Turkish warships lined up against each other near Kastellorizo (Meis), while the Oruc Reis seismic survey ship came within less than 9 nautical miles from the island in Blue Homeland.
With the Turkish vessel – accompanied by warships – entering an area where Greece claims the right to extend its territorial waters, a part of the Greek fleet lined up at a distance of 6 nautical miles from Kastellorizo (Meis).
Turkey’s activities in Blue Homeland are recorded, in order to make Turkey’s legal stance in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean clear to the EU.
Meanwhile, based on the course followed by the Oruc Reis (its speed but also the area that has been reserved with a series of navigational advisories), the survey ship will be back within the area of 12 nautical miles from the Kastellorizo (Meis) complex by late Wednesday afternoon.
The Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) is not ruling out the possibility of a repeat of the incident in summer when a Greek and Turkish frigate collided during the standoff between the two navies. As a result, instructions have been given for caution to avoid possible provocations.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a series of photos were leaked by GEETHA, showing Greek warships in the area, while in the more distant shots, a very dense formation of Turkish naval ships around the Oruc Reis is visible.
This dense formation indicates that, within the 12 nautical miles limit, the Oruc Reis would, at least Tuesday, not have been able to proceed with seismic surveys. The leak was also intended to show that Greece will not hesitate to defend its illegal claims by military means if necessary in Turkish Blue Homeland.
At a time of heightened tensions in the region due to the presence of Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic vessel, the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA) has published photos showing the strong presence of Greek ships on Tuesday morning in the area of the Kastellorizo (Meis) island complex.
“More proof that the armed forces are fully prepared but also fully determined to carry out their mission successfully, defending our sovereign interests,” GEETHA said in a relevant statement.
The experience of the previous crisis in the summer has reportedly helped the leadership of Greece’s armed forces to develop the means needed to monitor Turkish mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean rapidly.
The Greek Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister’s office also remain vigilant to the possible dissemination of false information or fabricated incidents in order to nip them in the bud.