Turkish Gunboat Violates Greek Territorial Waters for Several Minutes Off Agathonisi



Turkish naval officers on board an Oruc Reis frigate take part in a ceremony in the Bosphorus

The Turkish side has proceeded to yet another provocation earlier this (Friday) morning. Specifically, the gunboat “TCG POYRAZ” which was taking part in the Turkish Navy scheduled training program for the first quarter of 2015, entered the Greek territorial waters of the island of Agathonisi in the Eastern Aegean.

The Turkish Navy entered the Greek waters at around 8:55 p.m. and remained stationary for several minutes. Later, it initially sailed west and then while changing course to southeast it exited Greek territorial waters at 11:50 p.m.

According to the Greek National Defense Ministry, Hellenic Navy ships were monitoring the gunship’s activity during its presence in the Greek waters, as well as when it was sailing in international waters.

The second serious provocation within a month

The new provocation from Ankara comes only a few days after a controversial NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) on military maneuvers in the heart of the Aegean Sea and Greek airspace, including part of Greek land was issued and which was later characterized as a mistaken one.

Specifically, on Friday, February 27, Turkey issued a NOTAM requesting to reserve extensive Greek airspace from March 2 to December 31 for military exercises, including firing ammunition over the Aegean Sea, from the Greek island of Lemnos to Skyros within the Athens FIR. The Greek government immediately issued a notice to all relevant bodies such as the NATO, the European Union, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), the United Nations and of course Ankara, requesting the cancellation of the military exercises. As a result, the Turkish military and political leadership slightly backtracked, issuing a new notice. The new NOTAM (No. 0900/15) replaced the original one (No 0889/15) by excluding lands of the Greek island of Lemnos from the area reserved for military use.