Greece's navy has issued a code orange alert, advising battleships to surround a cluster of tiny islands in the southeast Aegean Sea and prepare for potential hostile action from Turkey, the Voice of America reports.
Greece’s defense ministry on Wednesday, October 21 released pictures of what Greek officials called a “protective wall,” illustrating what it called the severity of the looming standoff with Turkey.
Military officials say Greek gunboats circled the Kastellorizo and a number of uninhabited islands, in a move they said is meant to shield Greek territory against Turkish attempts to survey disputed waters for oil and gas.
Ankara redeployed the Oruc Reis survey ship earlier this month just weeks after it had recalled it from a similar mission that nearly brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
More than 60 Greek ships are in the region monitoring the vessel's moves.
Ankara insists it is within its rights to survey the region for gas and oil. But Greek government officials like State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis warn that any breach of Greek sovereignty will be met with force.