Turkey challenged six Greek F-16 jets as they advanced towards the region in the Eastern Mediterranean where Turkey issued a maritime Navtex alert, the country’s National Defense Ministry said on Friday.
On Aug. 27, the Turkish Air Forces’ radar systems detected six F-16 jets taking off from Greece’s Crete island and heading for Southern Cyprus, the ministry said in a statement.
Turkish F-16 jets intercepted jets approaching the area where Turkey issued Nartex alert in the Cyprus island’s southwest and warded them off after finding that jets belonged to Greece, it added.
The Turkish Naval and Air Forces resolutely continue protecting Turkey’s rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey on Thursday issued a new Navtex alert announcing a second four-day extension to the energy exploration of its seismic research vessel, the MTA Oruc Reis, in the Eastern Mediterranean, which Turkey had first announced would conduct research in the region until Aug. 23.
Navtex or Navigational Telex is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.
Turkey resumed energy exploration earlier this month in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.
Greece and other countries have tried to box in Turkey’s maritime territory and energy exploration rights, despite no country having a longer coastline on the Mediterranean.
Turkey has consistently opposed Greek efforts to declare a huge exclusive economic zone, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.
Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) — which has issued Turkish state oil company Turkish Petroleum a license — and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.