Turkey resumed energy exploration earlier this month in the eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech as he holds a press conference following the Cabinet Meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on August 24, 2020.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech as he holds a press conference following the Cabinet Meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on August 24, 2020. (AA)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey's navy will not back down as Greece "sows chaos" in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where the countries have deployed frigates in an escalating confrontation over overlapping resource claims.

"The ones who throw Greece in front of the Turkish navy will not stand behind them," Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting on Monday. 

He added that Athens did not have the right to broadcast maritime navigational and weather advisories, known as Navtex, in areas claimed by Ankara.

"Greece has declared its own Navtex unlawfully and in a spoiled manner ... With this approach, Greece has sown a chaos that it will not be able to escape from," Erdogan said.

READ MORE: Turkey won't bow down to colonialists in eastern Mediterranean: Erdogan 

Turkey on Sunday extended the exploration mission of its Oruc Reis survey ship by four days to August 27, a move that Athens has called illegal. 

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters on Monday that Greece had issued a Navtex advisory also expiring on August 27.

"Greece is responding calmly and with readiness both on a diplomatic and on an operational level. And with national confidence it does everything needed to defend its sovereign rights," Pestas said.

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, vehemently disagree over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves.

Separately, Turkey's Defence Ministry said maritime training involving Turkish and allied navy ships would be conducted in the eastern Mediterranean on August 25. 

Prelude to more good news 

Last week’s discovery of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea is a prelude to upcoming good news from the Mediterranean, the Turkish president added. 

There is substantial evidence that the natural gas discovery foreshadows a much bigger gas find, and hopefully the good news will continue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

READ MORE: Turkey’s gas discovery fuels hopes for energy independence 

Erdogan also called Monday’s Greek Navtex alert a “spoiled act” that endangers the coastal and navigational safety of all ships in the region.

Athens’ Navtex said its air and naval forces would hold joint exercises in an area overlapping with the one Turkey declared on Sunday.

From now on, Greece will be responsible for all conflicts in the region, and will be at a disadvantage, added Erdogan.

The Turkish ship Oruc Reis and the vessels accompanying it will not retreat from their activities in the region, he said.

Navtex (navigational alert) is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.

Turkey resumed energy exploration earlier this month in the eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

READ MORE: Turkey slams Greek-Egyptian maritime deal as 'worthless' 

Greece and other countries have tried to box in Turkey’s maritime territory and energy exploration rights, despite no country having a longer coastline on the Mediterranean.

Turkey's fight with terrorism 

The kind of mentality which sides with terrorist groups instead of supporting democratic countries has come into US politics, said Erdogan, in reference to Turkey's fight against YPG/PKK terrorists.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian wing.

Despite the YPG’s terrorist status, the US has supported it as a supposed ally against Daesh in northern Syria.

"A mentality which looks the other way when our country is being attacked by terrorists and hopes to see the results when we face a coup is a stain on the name of democracy," Erdogan said, referring to recently controversial remarks by US Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden.

In a video clip that went viral, Biden said, "We can support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process."

READ MORE: Turkey denounces Biden for advocating interference in internal affairs 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies