Turkey’s naval commander has revealed that he has been ordered to implement new rules of engagement in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu told reporters at the sidelines of the Blue Whale naval exercise on Sunday that the country’s navy has been given new instructions in case it faces “a situation” over hydrocarbons exploration in the area.
“Our naval forces elements will continue their mission of situational awareness in the region,” said Bostanoglu, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Turkish navy vessels are currently escorting the Barbaros research vessel, which is in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) south of the island.
“The Turkish Naval Forces is providing support and close protection to the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa research vessel,” said Bostanoglu.
“On the other hand, it continues to keep the drill ship hired by the Greek Cypriot administration under surveillance from nine kilometers’ distance. The order given to us for the moment is not to enter into this nine-kilometer area. That’s why no incident of harassment or disturbance has occurred,” he said.