Athens, Greece – While common sense and dialogue are expected between two neighbors, and just when it seemed that Greece and Turkey are entering a process of easing tension, the two countries appear to be heading for a new crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean on Monday.
Meanwhile, the decision by Turkey for an extension of the duration of exploratory activities by the Oruç Reis seismic survey vessel in areas within the Turkish continental shelf prompted an illegal response by Greece with Tuesday’s aeronautical exercise that begins on Tuesday at dawn over a large area from the south of Kassos to the south of Kastellorizo (Meis).
The Greek provocative exercise will take place in areas included in the navigational advisory, or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey for the Oruç Reis within the Turkish continental shelf. The exercise will last until Thursday night.
The Greek provocative exercise essentially raises obstacles to the German mediation effort which continues on Tuesday with visits to both Greece and Turkey by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
Meanwhile, tensions were further escalated on Monday night by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who issued direct war threats against Greece, which he said is being “deceived” by other countries into pursuing the course of action it is taking.
“When an issue arises in the future, then these forces will disappear and Greece will be left alone,” he said, adding that “from now on, Greece will be responsible for all conflicts in the region and it will be at a disadvantage.” He also described the aeronautical exercise illegally announced by Greece as “useless” and dangerous for navigation
Shortly before President Erdoğan’s remarks, Turkey announced new exercises off southern Crete for Tuesday morning, in an area several miles south of the prefecture of Lassithi. The area is located approximately on the borders described in the Turkey-Libya maritime borders memorandum.
At the same time, Greece is building a network of hostile military collaborations against Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean , as joint exercises are also expected with French Rafale jets based in Cyprus.