Greece complains to NATO over Turkish submarines in Aegean

9 October 2016
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The Greek Foreign Ministry and the National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) last week submitted to NATO a detailed complaint regarding the presence of Turkish Navy submarines in Greek territorial waters during the month of September, along with provocative statements by Turkish officials disputing the borders between the two NATO allies, Dailyhellas understands.

In its complaint, Greece notes that the Turkish submarines covered much of the Aegean in their movements, including Greek territorial waters close to the inhabited islands of Lemnos, Samothrace, Chios, Lesvos, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastellorizo and the waters north of Crete.

Greek authorities reacted to the presence of the Turkish submarines by dispatching six Greek ships but vessels cannot be chased off in the same way as fighter jets are, sources said.

In its complaint, Greek authorities noted that the activity of the Turkish submarines in the Aegean came as officials in Ankara questioned the Treaty of Lausanne, the pact that defined the borders between Greece and modern Turkey following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Taken together, the presence of Turkish submarines in Greek territorial waters and the disputing of territorial borders point to an “escalation” of tensions and to possible “instability” in the region, Greek authorities said in their complaint.

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