Greece blasted an attempt by Turkey to claim jurisdiction for search and rescue operations in almost half of the Aegean Sea on Sunday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens said that the new Turkish law that defines the area of responsibility is “illegal insofar as it covers areas of Greek sovereignty and jurisdiction.”
Greece was responding to the announcement by Turkey that it has expanded its search and rescue area of responsibility to cover the “Blue Homeland,” a revanchist doctrine which aspires to give Turkey control over the waters of the eastern Aegean and the northern Mediterranean.
The announcement by Adil Karaismailoğlu, the Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure through twitter includes the map of the areas Turkey says it will assume responsibility.
Fatih’e, Yavuz’a, Kanuni’ye selam olsun.✋#MaviVatanımızda arama ve kurtarma sorumluluk sahamızı, Doğu Akdeniz'de faaliyet gösteren milli gemilerimizin arama sahalarını kapsayacak şekilde genişlettik.
Yeni Ulusal Arama ve Kurtarma Planımız ülkemize hayırlı olsun. pic.twitter.com/EkDqxZaY1c
— Adil Karaismailoğlu (@akaraismailoglu) October 17, 2020
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that international treaties have clearly defined that Greece is responsible for such operations through the Greek Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) located in Piraeus.
“Greece coordinates all search and rescue operations in its area of responsibility, providing services in this case to all those at risk, whether they are on ships or on and planes.”
The ministry adds that the latest Turkish move “has purely political motives that could endanger human lives.”