BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 P.M.) – The Greek military has been placed on high alert, following Turkey’s move to begin seismic surveys south of the island of Kastellorizo, Ekathimerini reported on Wednesday.
According to the Greek publication, Turkey’s research vessel, Oruc Reis, will be conducting these seismic surveys until August 2nd.
The report said Greece views this move by Turkey as a dangerous escalation in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to warn of new sanctions against Ankara and further turmoil in NATO.
“The imposition of sanctions by the EU against Turkey will be a one-way street. It is up to Turkey to choose what relationship it wants to have with Greece, with Cyprus, with Europe. But I think at the moment it seems to be choosing the wrong path,” Mitsotakis said during his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Maximos Mansion.
“Greece is following all developments with absolute readiness,” stressing that “questioning the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus is questioning the sovereign rights of Europe,” he added.
Tensions between Greece and Turkey have been running high for months, following Ankara’s decision to drill off the coast of Cyprus and their oil exploration plans in Libya’s territorial waters.
Greece has since formed an alliance with Egypt, Cyprus, and Israel in the Mediterranean to counter Turkey’s moves, despite the possibility of a military conflict.