The Turkish military on Tuesday denied accusations from a Greek marine conservation group that its naval exercises have been behind a recent spike in the number of dolphin deaths in Greece.
On Tuesday, the military uploaded on Twitter a video and photographs of dolphins happily playing in the water while accompanying vessels during naval exercises.
Extremely sensitive about the environment and innocent civilians at sea, land and air even during military operations the Turkish Armed Forces act with the consciousness of protecting our friends at sea during their duties in the Blue Homeland. pic.twitter.com/RBVxOpo9rF
— Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) April 9, 2019
On Monday, Greece’s Archipelagos Institute said that fifteen dead dolphins have washed up on Greece’s Aegean coasts since late February. While it couldn’t definitively prove any link, it said the spike came in the wake of the Feb. 27-March 8 Turkish military drills that made use of sonar.
The Turkish military said the armed forces “maintain their sensitivity to the environment even during operations” and “acted with the consciousness of protecting our friends at sea.” The recent drill, called “Blue Homeland,” also made use of live ammunition.