Ankara, Greece- Greece’s Foreign Ministry lodged a demarche with Turkey’s Foreign Ministry through its embassy in Ankara in protest at the announced plans for an upcoming Turkish hydrographic survey between the Greek islands of Limnos, Skyros and Alonnisos from Thursday to March 2, 2021.

The navigational directive concerns international waters, however Turkey denounces it as invalid and illegal as, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Alexandros Papaioannou, the Izmir Station does not have the authority to issue Navtexes for the area in question.

Officials in Turkey said recently that the surveys by the TCG Cesme vessel will be restricted to the sea surface, as the vessel will not lay its cables on the seabed.

TCG Cesme carried out hydrographic surveys in the same area in 2018 under the close monitoring of Hellenic Navy ships.

Papaioannou also said that Greece has suggested dates for the 62nd round of the exploratory talks with Turkey, but has not yet received a response. He added, however, that it will be held in the first week of March 2021.