In response to Greece violating a decades-old pact, Turkey on Wednesday issued a navigational alert or Navtex declaring the international waters of the Aegean Sea to be training zones.
Under a longstanding agreement between Ankara and Athens, the international waters of the Aegean Sea are off limits to military training during high tourism season, from June 15 to Sept. 15, but Greece violated this pact by declaring the waters to be training zones, according to Turkish military sources.
In light of the 1988 Athens Memorandum of Understanding, which prohibits the drills during tourist season and holidays, Turkey had not designated the Aegean a training ground for the summer, but Turkey did so only in response to Greece’s violation, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Despite Turkey's respectful attitude and diplomatic efforts, Greece has not yet made alterations to comply with the moratorium in the zones it declared, compelling Turkey to retaliate.
Greece previously violated the pact this May 19, by holding exercises on Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth, and Sports Day, a Turkish national holiday.
* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara