Ankara is continuing to monitor closely the explorations for hydrocarbons by the Republic of [South] Cyprus, which are supported by Greece, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish daily ‘Cumhuriyet’ reports. However, due to the fact that both Cyprus and Greece belong to the EU, which is also Turkey’s ally, Ankara will not increase tension in the area.
According to the paper, the rules of engagement issued to the Turkish Naval Forces by the Turkish Prime Ministry are “to harass but not to hit”. The paper notes that this is not the case as regards Syria where the rules of engagement are to strike.
It also writes that Turkish Naval Forces are closely monitoring the Greek submarine and the Greek Naval vessel sent in the area by the Greek government and will not allow these ships to prevent operations conducted by the seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’. Within the framework of the rules of engagement, the Turkish Naval Forces can block the radars of the war-ships that may approach it, but only the Turkish Prime Ministry can give permission to strike.
The paper also notes that Turkey has no allies left in the Eastern Mediterranean and comments on the recent agreement between [South] Cyprus, Greek and Egypt, stating that Greece had benefited from the bad relations between Turkey and Egypt.