Potential Military Conflict Between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean
July 23, 2020 (EIRNS)—The crisis between Greece and Turkey over Turkey’s deployment of a seismic research vessel in waters claimed by Greece as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone continues to play out, with both Greek and Turkish warships in the area. Greek sources warn that an “incident” could occur at any time.
The tension has led to a flurry of diplomatic activity. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a phone discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 22, discussing the situation in the Mediterranean, as well as Turkey’s decision to convert the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque.
Mitsotakis also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after the she had spoken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday night July 21, in which she urged for de-escalation in the situation.
Following these telephone calls, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christopher Burger said that Berlin wants a “prudent dialogue,” while pointing out that “progress in EU-Turkey relations is only possible, if Turkey abandons provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Nonetheless the situation “remained unchanged” in the Eastern Mediterranean region south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo on July 22, after Turkey issued its Navtex on July 21 for seismic research activities in the area, according to a source from the Hellenic National Defense General Staff cited by the Greek daily Kathimerini. There are currently an unknown number of both Turkish and Greek naval vessels in the region.