Turk­ish ship in Aegean fu­els con­cern about re­gion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

De­fense Min­is­ter Nikos Den­dias yes­ter­day ap­peared to play down the pres­ence of a Turk­ish Navy corvette in Greek wa­ters, re­fer­ring to “pre­dictable” tac­tics by Ankara, but the lat­est in a se­ries of trans­gres­sions fu­eled con­cern in the ranks of the gov­ern­ment, with For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venizelos con­demn­ing the “bla­tant vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law” by Turkey off the coast of Cyprus.

The Turk­ish corvette, TCG Buyukada, en­tered Greek wa­ters be­tween Evia and An­dros at around 3 a.m. yes­ter­day, con­tin­ued south­ward be­tween Kea and Kyth­nos, and passed Ser­i­fos and Mi­los be­fore be­ing spot­ted close to San­torini last night.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence early yes­ter­day, Den­dias noted that the de­vel­op­ment, though not wel­come, was not a shock as Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties are ac­cus­tomed to tak­ing such ac­tions when a new de­fense min­is­ter is ap­pointed in Greece. He said a Greek frigate was mon­i­tor­ing the Turk­ish ves­sel. “No one is en­ti­tled to sail around the Aegean with­out us know­ing where ex­actly they are and what ex­actly they are do­ing,” he said.

Later in the day, Venizelos slammed Turkey for main­tain­ing a seis­mic survey ves­sel off the south­ern coast of Cyprus, in the lat­ter’s ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ). Re­fer­ring to Turkey’s “re­cent provo­ca­tions in Cyprus’s EEZ,” Venizelos ac­cused Ankara of “cre­at­ing a cri­sis in an al­ready un­sta­ble re­gion.”

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