May 20, 2021
Turkish fishing boats entered Greek territorial waters south of the small island of Gavdos, off western Crete, on Wednesday. It is the first time that Turkish vessels have appeared at the western part of Crete. No further details were available about the incursion.
The incident was handled by the Greek Coast Guard although the Navy was also placed on alert.
This development is seen as a direct violation of Greek rights in the exclusive economic zone, but it also dangerous for two reasons: Firstly, because it attempts to question sovereignty in an area where Greece has unquestionable sovereignty, as this area is not included in the Turkish-Libyan (GNA) maritime deal, which Athens rejects anyway.
Secondly, because the appearance of Turkish fishing vessels within Gavdos’ waters is seen as an attempt to question the island’s right to territorial waters.
On May 11, Italy’s navy accused Turkish fishing boats of launching stones towards two Italian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. The clashes allegedly took place north of Cyprus. The Turkish vessels performed close maneuvres near the ships, according to the Italian navy.
Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a maritime demarcation accord, along with a military cooperation deal, in November 2019. [kathimerini]
Published at www.keeptalkinggreece.com