Turkey accuses Greek navy of deploying warships to Aegean Sea  

Turkey accuses Greek navy of deploying warships to Aegean Sea  

Ankara/Athens: Turkey has accused Greece of deploying warships in the Aegean Sea near its border. The country has blamed Greece for making provocative moves, although it is making an effort to resolve the dispute through talks and negotiations. Greece and Turkey are discussing the issue over the Mediterranean Sea with the mediation of NATO. However, Turkey continues with its research operations despite the ongoing discussions. In response, Greece has also maintained its defence deployment.  

Turkish Defense Ministry spokesperson Major Pinar Kara has slammed Greece, saying, ‘Turkey is making positive efforts to resolve the Mediterranean dispute. However, Greece is still making illegal and provocative moves.’ Turkey has accused Greece of sending warships to the island of Kastellorizo, near the Turkish border but has not elaborated on the claim. At the same time, Turkey has asserted that it would continue with negotiations peacefully under international law.  

International surveys and reports have shown that the Mediterranean region has vast gas reserves. Turkey is taking steps to seize more territories in the area. Besides, Turkey claims territories governed by Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Last August, Turkey issued the Navtex Alert and sent research ship Oruc Reis with two auxiliary ships to explore the Mediterranean Sea.  

Greece had then warned Turkey to immediately stop any illegal activities that threaten peace and stability in the region. Also, the European Union (EU), NATO and the United States had expressed displeasure over Turkey’s move. The United States and Europe had supported Greece and started pressurising Turkey. Therefore, in September, Turkey withdrew its ship from the Mediterranean and resumed talks with Greece. But in the last five months, Turkey has consistently launched naval operations to show its dominance in the region.  

Now, Greece has also stepped up its activities in response to Turkey’s aggression. Since August last year, Greece has conducted independent defence exercises with the United States, France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In November, Egypt, Cyprus, France and the UAE had participated in a multinational exercise in the Mediterranean. In addition, Greece had decided to increase its defence spending by 57% to curb Turkey’s actions.  

Despite repeated warnings from Greece, Turkey had sent its ships within 14 kilometres of the Greek islands. Reports also revealed that the Turkish Coast Guard had threatened Greek ships. Apart from that, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly threatened Greece, reminding it of its history. Therefore, Turkey’s accusation of provocation against Greece is nothing short of hypocrisy. 

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