Turkey’s Defense Ministry uploaded a tweet on Tuesday noting that the country is continuing its hydrocarbon research in the eastern Mediterranean with the state-owned vessel ”Barbaros”.
The move was received in Athens as a clear message to the new Greek defense minister, Evangelos Apostolakis, who was sworn into office in the country’s defense ministry earlier on Tuesday.
The Turkish tweet declared that the scientific research is being conducted in ”areas under Turkish jurisdiction”. However, this statement omits any mention that Turkey issued a NAVTEX warning, blocking parts of the Greek and Cypriot territorial waters until Thursday, January 17.
Doğu Akdeniz’deki deniz yetki alanlarımızda bilimsel araştırma faaliyetlerine devam etmekte olan Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Sismik Araştırma Gemimize Deniz Kuvvetlerimiz tarafından sağlanan refakat görevi kapsamında halen TCG BARBAROS fırkateyni de bölgede bulunmaktadır.#MSB #TSK pic.twitter.com/mziXWBkJB0
— Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) January 15, 2019
On his first day in office, Defense Minister Apostolakis called on Greece’s neighbors “to work with Greece to get the Balkans out of the corner and onto the international stage, as a region that can guarantee security, stability and peace”.
During the handover ceremony at the defense ministry, Apostolakis sent a message to Turkey by saying that Greece is firmly committed to the values of peaceful coexistence and co-operation. The former admiral urged the country to choose between conflict and the path of cooperation.
The defense minister told onlookers that ”I want to remind our neighbors that, whenever cooperation and trust prevail, our peoples have progressed. However, when nationalism has dominated, people suffered.
“Respect for international law must be the foundation for our relations, and that is the only ‘red line’ in our relationship,” Apostolakis concluded.
With information from A.M.N.A.