Turkey provokes Greece: Athens demands emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers

Since the discovery of rich gas deposits in the Aegean Sea, there has been fierce dispute between Greece and Turkey over their exploitation. Athens is now demanding an emergency meeting of the EU.

After the dispute over gas and oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean escalated again on Monday, Greece has called for an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers. This was announced by the office of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Turkey had previously announced the dispatch of a reconnaissance ship to the Greek island of Kastellorizo. Athens called this a “threat to peace” in the eastern Mediterranean.

A spokesman for EU foreign affairs commissioner Josep Borrell warned against further escalation, saying the situation was “extremely worrying and must be resolved through dialogue”. The Turkish research vessel “Oruc Reis” was located southeast of the Greek island of Crete on Tuesday, according to the Greek Navy. It is accompanied by Turkish naval ships and monitored by Greek warships. Greece considers the explorations in its territorial waters a threat to its sovereignty.

Turkey has announced explorations of the “Oruc Reis” off the Turkish coast near the Greek island of Kastellorizo between August 10 and 23. At the end of July, Ankara had announced that it would abandon the controversial drilling activities near the Greek island of Kastellorizo “for a while” and negotiate with Greece and the current EU Council President, Germany. Cyprus also raises objections Turkey had already informed on Friday about the dispatch of the ship “Barbaros Hayrettin” to the controversial area. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had declared this agreement “null and void”.

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