Turkey conducts unauthorized naval maneuvers off Cyprus
The Israeli, British and Turkish navies conducted maneuvers off the coast of Cyprus on Thursday. But there was a difference between them. While Israel and Britain had the approval of the Cypriot government to conduct their maneuvers, the Turks most definitely did not have that approval
Cypriot media reports claimed that Israel and Great Britain asked and received permission from Cyprus to hold their maneuvers but that the Turkish navy did not, and as a result Nicosia was considering submitted an official complaint to the United Nations.
IDF sources could not confirm the reports but the navy announced earlier this week that it was increasing its patrols in the Eastern Mediterranean to protect gas fields that Israel is planning to begin extracting from within the coming year.
In addition, the navy is looking to secure an NIS 3 billion budget to purchase new surface vessels it claims to need to effectively patrol and protect the new economic waters.
Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gregory Delavekouras said Thursday that Turkey’s naval maneuvers were a violation of Cypriot sovereignty.
"The constant efforts of Turkey to question the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus as well as to offend European institutions, such as the EU Presidency, need to be put to an end. It is a wrong perception that leads nowhere,” Delavekouras said at a briefing in Athens.
Coincidentally, Greece’s navy commander Vice Admiral Kosmas Christidis wrapped up a four day visit to Israel on Thursday during which he met with OC Navy Vice Admiral Ram Rothberg and sailed on a Sa’ar 5-class missile ship.
Complaining to the UN is a waste of time. Much stronger action is needed.
Labels: Britain, Cyprus, Israel, oil and gas exploration, Turkey, Turkish occupation of Cyprus