Tensions have risen this week after Turkey despatched a survey vessel to the area, escorted by warships, to map out sea territory for attainable oil and fuel drilling – an space the place Turkey and Greece each declare jurisdiction.
A Greek and a Turkish warship had been concerned in a mini-collision on Wednesday throughout a standoff in the jap Mediterranean, a Greek defence supply mentioned, describing it as an “accident”.
Tensions have risen this week after Turkey despatched a survey vessel to the area, escorted by warships, to map out sea territory for attainable oil and fuel drilling – an space the place Turkey and Greece each declare jurisdiction. EU international ministers had been attributable to focus on the problem on Friday.
The Turkish Oruc Reis survey ship has been shifting between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete, shadowed by a lot of Greek frigates. On Wednesday one in every of them, the Limnos, was approaching the survey vessel when it got here into the trail of one in every of its Turkish naval escorts, the Kemal Reis.
The Greek frigate manoeuvred to keep away from a head-on collision and in the method, its bow touched the rear of the Turkish frigate, the defence supply mentioned.
“It was an accident,” the supply mentioned, including the Limnos was not broken. It subsequently took half in a joint navy train with France off Crete on Thursday morning.
There was no speedy touch upon the incident from the Turkish ministry of defence.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mentioned on Thursday that any assault on a Turkish ship exploring for oil and fuel in disputed Mediterranean waters would incur a “high price” and steered Turkey had already acted on that warning.
“We said that if you attack our Oruc Reis you will pay a high price, and they got their first answer today,” Erdogan mentioned in a speech in Ankara, with out giving particulars.
Greece and Turkey are allies in NATO however their relations have lengthy been fraught with pressure. Disputes have ranged from boundaries of offshore continental cabinets and airspace to the ethnically break up island of Cyprus. In 1996 they virtually went to battle over possession of uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea.