Turkey stated on Thursday that it will be holding firing exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean on September 1 and 2, with this being the latest in a series of military action that have continue to add to the tensions between them and Greece.
The two countries have been arguing over control of Eastern Mediterranean waters, with this dispute escalating after Turkey sent a seismic survey vessel to the disputed region this month, with Greece branding this an illegal move.
The conflict came about due to arguments over potential hydrocarbon resources, with the two countries having conflicting ideas about the extent of their continental shelves in waters that are mostly filled with Greek islands.
The Turkish navy issued the latest advisory, referred to as Navtex, on Thursday claiming that it will be holding the shooting exercises right off the coast of Iskenderun, north-east of Cyprus.
With tensions increasing, France stated on Wednesday that it will be joining military exercises with Italy, Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.
However, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy claimed that through the deployment of French military aircraft in Greek Cyprus, France violated treaties when it comes to the control and administration of Cyprus after its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960.
Aksoy added that France’s stance was dangerously encouraging both Greece and Cyprus to take the tensions to the next level in the region.
Cyprus was left divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion was triggered after a Greek-inspired coup.
As a result of the invasion, most of the Greek Cypriots live in the south, whilst the Turkish Cypriots live in the north.