Tension amidst countries of the Eastern Mediterranean seems to further escalate after Turkey’s diversion tactic of proceeding with the drilling of possible exploitable oil reserves in the maritime area south of the island of Kastelorizo.
Yesterday afternoon, the Turkish government issued a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) confirming the conduction of relevant explorations in the area, while an announcement had been preceded concerning the country’s decision of signing an agreement with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state on the delimitation of their continental shelf.
In the Turkish announcement, it is highlighted that from the 15th of September to the 15th of November the Norwegian research vessel “Bergen Surveyor” (accompanied by other vessels) will search for oil and gas south of Kastelorizo, where Athens Foreign Affairs Ministry has claimed with an official announcement the rights to potential undersea mineral and fossil fuel deposits due to its sovereign rights.
The Greek government has already sent formal instructions to the Greek Embassy in Ankara in order to proceed with a representation to the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry asking Turkey to cease any search activities in the area. At the same time the Greek Embassy in Oslo is contacting the shipping company of the research vessel and the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry to make the Greek positions known.