EST. 1926

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Greek armed forces on high alert as Turkey announce plans to explore sea south of Kastellorizo

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Greek armed forces have been placed on alert after the Antalya Navtex station announced plans for a Turkish seismic survey south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo from July 21-August 2.

Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic exploration ship arrived in the area yesterday, blocking the sea area southeast of Kastelorizo island. The Greek foreign ministry said the advisory covered part of the Greek continental shelf.

“We call on Turkey to immediately cease these illegal actions which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the area,” it said in a statement.

A protest had been lodged with the Turkish foreign ministry while the United Nations, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, NATO and the European Union had been informed.

The chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Konstantinos Floros, has expedited his return from Cyprus.

With Turkey’s behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean becoming increasingly provocative, Greece has been bracing for a possible scaling up of tensions, amid fears that Turkish officials will make good on threats to launch hydrocarbon explorations off the islands of Crete or Kastellorizo.

Also Tuesday, a pair of Turkish F-16 fighter jets entered Greek airspace at 2.23 p.m. and flew over the islets of Strongyli and Megisti near Kastellorizo at an altitude of 12,500 feet.

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