Turkey issued an announcement on Thursday declaring it will conduct “seismic research” in a large area of the Eastern Mediterranean which includes parts of the Greek continental shelf and the Cypriot E.E.Z.
Turkey said the research will be ongoing in the blocked-off area until Saturday, January 5.
The new Turkish navigational telex (NAVTEX) refers to an area which overlaps both the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus and Greece’s continental shelf off the island complex of Kastellorizo.
The seismic research is scheduled to start immediately and will be conducted by the vessel ”Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa” and two more support ships.
Turkey has conducted seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean for many years, issuing frequent navigational telexes warning ships which may pass through the area. However, this blocking off of high-traffic areas in the Mediterranean frequently violates the sovereign rights of both the Republic of Cyprus and Greece.
The Republic of Cyprus has already officially protested to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, about this new provocative Turkish action in its Exclusive Economic Zone.