Turkish navy in the Aegean is on alert

Turkey’s Naval Forces Command increased its measures against possible actions by Greece, ordering one frigate and two gunboats to be on alert, along with a special underwater forces team (SAT), Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.

Moreover, Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and Ministry of Defence Nurettin Canikli separately visited the Turkish frigates on duty in the East Mediterranean and the Aegean, to give the message that Turkish navy is ready for all sorts of duties, Anadolu Agency said.

Tensions between Turkey and Greece have flared this week after Greek judicial authorities decided on Monday to release the last four of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to the country following the coup attempt in Turkey in the summer of 2016. Turkey has demanded the servicemen be sent back to face trial for taking part in the coup attempt and threatening to track down and grab those soldiers after the Greek court’s decision.

Greece and Turkey have a number of disputes over their borders in the Aegean, most conspicuously the islets known as Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish, between the Greek island of Kalimnos and the Turkish coast. A new dispute between two countries has also been sparked after Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos claimed on Wednesday that a number of uninhabited Aegean islands as Greek nature reserves.