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А Turkish military frigate gives orders near the island of Kastelorizo

24 March 2011 / 23:03:13  GRReporter
4432 reads

Victoria Mindova

"The major goals of our country will be achieved through hard struggle, an intransigent stance and ultimate sacrifice," said proudly the Deputy Minister of Citizens Protection Manolis Othonas. He had a short speech to representatives of the Coast Guard a day before the national holiday of Greece. On 25 March each year, Greece celebrates the beginning of the revolution that liberated the country from the Turkish rule in the early 19th century. There between the lines was the indirect message to all who question the boundaries of that Mediterranean country.

Meanwhile, the Greek edition of Vima reported that the correspondence between Athens and Ankara has particularly thickened. Diplomatic notes between the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey began to "fly" like swallows before rain in March this year.

It all started after a Turkish warship prevented the Italian research vessel "Explora" from conducting a research for the laying of optical cables, commissioned by an Israeli company. The researches have been conducted around the small Greek island of Kastelorizo. It is in close proximity to Turkey and the waters around it have been a contentious issue for many years. The two neighbours have different opinions about where their maritime boundary begins and ends, which creates tension in the region.
The presence of the Italian ship raised again the practical question from the Turkish side concerning the Greek rights and the maritime areas in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. In fact, Ankara did not hesitate to send naval note (NAVTEX 206/11) to its Mediterranean neighbour, claiming that the Italians had entered their waters. A day later, Greece sent a note with the same content to their colleagues at the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The newspaper cited anonymous diplomatic sources from the Greek side who said that, despite Turkey’s claims for violation of the maritime boundary, the Italian researchers have applied for official permission only from Greece.

The problems with "Explora" started back on the 12th of March this year when a Turkish military frigate approached the Italians and warned them to leave Turkish waters. Although the Italian instruments were showing that their ship was over the Greek continental shelf, the Turkish military have provided other geographical coordinates according to which the Italians were offenders. After a series of diplomatic notes, "Explora" returned this week in the waters around Katelorizo and a frigate of the Greek navy traces its movement in the region from afar, reported Vima.

Tags: PoliticsGreeceTurkeyAegean SeaTension
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