Turkey claimed jurisdiction for search and rescue operations in almost half of the Aegean Sea on Sunday.
In a post on Twitter, Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Adil Karaismailoglu, announced that Turkey has expanded its search and rescue area of responsibility to cover the “Blue Homeland,” a doctrine which aspires to give Turkey control over the waters of the eastern Aegean and the northern Mediterranean.
The announcement was supported by a map of the areas Turkey says it will assume responsibility of.
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece said that the new Turkish law that defines the area of responsibility is “illegal insofar as it covers areas of Greek sovereignty and jurisdiction.”
The Ministry added that international treaties have clearly defined that Greece is responsible for such operations through the Greek Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) located in Piraeus.
“Greece coordinates all search and rescue operations in its area of responsibility, providing services in this case to all those at risk, whether they are on ships or on and planes,” the statement reads.
“The latest Turkish move has purely political motives that could endanger human lives.”