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Orange alert in Greece. Tension rises a notch with Turkey

(B2) The Greek navy was placed on high alert after Turkey's decision to send one of its ships to conduct searches in the Greek exclusive economic zone

The Oruc Reis accompanied by a Turkish navy ship (credit: TRT Haber)

The Turkish decision to set up a 'Navtex' (1) reserving a large part of the Greek continental shelf south of the island of Kastellorizo ​​for seismic studies by a research vessel, theOruc kings, from July 21 until August 2, produced a new increase in tension between Athens and Ankara.

Aerial duel above Kastellorizo

The chief of staff of the Greek defense, Konstantinos Floros, visiting Cyprus, interrupted his trip and rushed back to Athens. The Greek fighter came to intercept Turkish F-16s in a rather long confrontation. Accustomed to these aerial jousts, the deputy mayor of Kastellorizo ​​was nevertheless surprised by their unusual length. “ Turkey only faces us from 800 meters. Of course, air battles are often shorter, usually 5 minutes. This time they lasted two to two and a half hours Dimitris Achladiotis told Ethnos. In the meantime, tourists, stunned by the bang breaking the sound barrier, panicked and slipped away, says the greek press.

The alert given to Europeans

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who had already sounded the alarm to his fellow European heads of state and government at the exceptional summit on Friday (17 July), warned that European Union sanctions could follow if Ankara continues to challenge Greek sovereignty. “ It is up to Turkey to choose the relations it wants to have with Greece, with Cyprus, with Europe. But I think right now she seems to be choosing the wrong path “, he declared during the visit of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas in Athens, according to the Greek daily Kathimerini. Talks have taken place all over the past few hours. US Defense Secretary Mark Esper phoned Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos to “ reaffirm the strong defense relationship between the United States and Greece, and speak Russian and Chinese threats!

The obligation of good neighborliness recalled in Ankara

In Brussels too the European Commission has warned. This Turkish advertisement is not useful and sends the wrong message, particularly following recent discussions on the EU-Türkiye relationship “Said Nabila Massrali, spokesperson for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell. " As a candidate country, Turkey must commit to maintaining good neighborly relations and, if necessary, to refer matters to the International Court of Justice. The European Union has consistently said that the issue of the exclusive continental zone should be addressed through dialogue and good faith ».

While waiting for theOruc Reis was observed off the coast of Antyala, accompanied by two Turkish frigates, according to national television TRT Haber.


  1. A maritime information message transmitted on a fixed frequency (518 kHz) to all ships (official or merchant marine) equipped with a receiver.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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