While Ankara is not the first time calling on Athens to "behave decently" and avoid provocations, Greece continues to declare its readiness to deploy weapons on the islands in the Aegean Sea. Greek media reports that on January 18 in the Aegean Sea, the country's Navy will conduct naval exercises "Lightning".
It is reported that frigates, missile boats, submarines, aviation and elite units of the Marine Corps. The scenario of the exercise is associated with the protection of power plants and platforms for the extraction of hydrocarbons, as well as "protection against attacks by enemy fleets and the return of territories captured by the enemy."
The last few definitions have caused considerable irritation in Turkey. The Turkish expert community considered that this could be a threat to Northern Cyprus and to the territories of Turkey itself in the east of the Mediterranean.
In Greek the news it is said that the "Lightning" is "a response to Ankara's provocations" and a demonstration that any movement of Turkey in the sea separating the two countries is "under close scrutiny" of the Greek Navy.
Territorial rights in the Aegean have long been a point of contention between the two countries. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often warns Greece against provocations at sea.
Erdogan said Turkey's recent ballistic missile test "spooked" Athens. In October, Turkey conducted a test launch of a Typhoon short-range ballistic missile. The missile can hit a target at a distance of more than 500 km.
Turkey and Greece disagree on several issues, including competing claims to jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean, overlapping claims to their continental shelves, maritime boundaries, airspace, energy, the ethnically divided island of Cyprus, and the status of islands in the Aegean.
Relations deteriorated after Erdogan said Mitsotakis "no longer exists" for him when the Greek prime minister lobbied to block Turkey's F-16 fighter jet sales during a visit to the United States, despite having previously negotiated a partnership with Erdogan . In May, Erdogan severed relations with Mitsotakis and declared all other channels of communication between the countries closed.
Militarily, it even went as far as Greek Coast Guard boats opening fire on a cargo ship that was said to have violated Greek territorial waters. The ship turned out to be Turkish.