Greece has responded to Turkey’s illegal extension of its NAVTEX with its own advisory for a naval exercise in the wider area of SE Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes and South Castellorizo.
According to Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA) sources, Turkey extended its NAVTEX that expired on Sunday until Thursday, August 27, at 23:59 pm.
The Greek counter-naval exercise will run from early Tuesday, August 25, until the evening of Thursday, August 27.
Erdogan: Greece responsible for any ‘negative developments’ in East Mediterranean
In response, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey’s navy will not back down as Greece “sows chaos” in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
“The ones who throw Greece in front of the Turkish navy will not stand behind them,” Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.
He added that Athens did not have the right to broadcast maritime navigational and weather advisories (NAVTEX) in areas claimed by Ankara.
“Greece has declared its own NAVTEX unlawfully and in a spoiled manner…With this approach, Greece has sown a chaos that it will not be able to escape from,” Erdogan said.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Greece “is responding calmly… to defend its sovereign rights.”
“Greece is responding calmly and with readiness both on a diplomatic and on an operational level. And with national confidence it does everything needed to defend its sovereign rights.”
Turkish seismic research ship Oruc Reis is currently inside Greece’s continental shelf supported by seven Turkish warships. Two Greek Navy ships are close by monitoring their moves.