Turkish fishing boats entered Greek territorial waters south of the island of Gavdos near western Crete without permission. This is reported by Ekathimerini on Thursday, May 20.
These are the first Turkish vessels to appear in the western part of Crete, the newspaper notes, but there is no more detailed information about the invasion yet. The incident was handled by the Greek Coast Guard, but the fleet was also put on alert.
The situation is seen as a direct violation of Greek rights in the exclusive economic zone, but it is also dangerous for two reasons: first because it is an attempt to question sovereignty in an area where Greece has undisputed sovereignty since this area is not part of the Turkish-Libyan maritime agreement, which Athens rejects anyway. Also, the appearance of Turkish fishing vessels in the waters of Gavdos is seen as an attempt to question the island’s right to territorial waters.
Recall that in the fall of 2020, Turkey began seismic work in the Mediterranean — for this purpose, the Oruc Reis vessel was used, capable of conducting research on the shelf at a depth of 8 thousand to 15 thousand meters.
In turn, the EU called on Turkey to abandon exploration in the disputed waters. EU leaders called on the country to “ work to ease tensions on a permanent and sustainable basis.”