A Turkish Navy Yıldız-class fast attack craft equipped with what appeared to be Harpoon missiles was sighted several kilometers away from the Greek island of Kastellorizo. This class warship was designed by Lürssen Werft of Germany and has a full load displacement of 433 long tons (440 t).
The sighting of the Turkish fast missile patrol craft, reportedly P349 Karayel, comes as Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic research vessel continued its journey nearby within the country’s continental shelf claim escorted by a military outfit.
Local media also reported that in response to Turkey’s actions, Greek ships have appeared off the coast of Kastellorizo directly opposite Kas.
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The two countries are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region. Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbon exploration.
Greece claims part of the area covers its continental shelf and has demanded that the Turkish ships withdraw. Turkey took the position that it’s entitled to conduct research there. Greece placed its military on alert and sent warships to the area off Turkey’s southern coast.
As Bloomberg previously reported, the “situation” is the face-off between Turkey and Greece over territorial and hydrocarbon-exploration rights. Things turned tense this week when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended a brief pause in Turkish exploration efforts in waters contested by the Greeks.
Also reported that Ankara launched naval exercises off the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo.