Defence minister informs allies about Turkish Navtex, patrol boat in Aegean

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos on Friday informed Greece’s allies and partners about continued Turkish provocations in the Aegean, including the issue of a Navtex for a military exercise involving life fire in an area within Greek territorial waters. Kammenos was in Germany for the 53rd Munich Security Conference.

Despite the issue of a Greek counter-Navtex invalidating Turkey’s notice, a Turkish Navy patrol boat entered Greek territorial waters on Friday morning and fired small-calibre shots in an eastward direction.

The Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff on Friday issued an announcement concerning the events, noting that Turkish authorities had issued Navtex 221/17 on Friday night warning of a military exercise with live fire in a region east of Farmakonissi, scheduled to be held on Friday from 7:00-9:00 in the morning.

The Greek side responded by issuing Navtex 87/17 that made the Turkish Navtex invalid, both because it overlapped with Greek territory and due to lack of authority. The Greek armed forces also send the Greek Navy gunboat “Nikiforos” to carry out surveillance of the area.

In spite of the Greek side counter-Navtex, a Turkish Navy patrol boat sailing east of Farmakonissi and within Greek territorial waters fired shots eastward from 7:40 to 7:55.

The Turkish patrol boat was monitored throughout by the gunboat “Nikiforos” that constantly broadcast messages ordering the Turkish boat to leave Greek waters and stop firing. The Turkish boat then moved northward, leaving the area.