Ankara implements "shield warning" in the Eastern Mediterranean
News that Ankara had sent war ships towards the open waters of Cyprus yesterday morning caused tension in the Turkish capital, this in the wake of revelations that the Southern Cypriot administration had been involved in a move to get Lebanon to sign on to petrol exploration bids off the coastal waters of Cyprus.
Ankara's move of war ships towards the open waters off of Cyprus is being called a "shield warning," and is tied to its strategy of showing decisiveness in the face of moves made by the Greek Cypriot authority. While Ankara authorities have issued a stern warning to Beirut authorities on the possible petrol exploration question, the Foreign Ministry and the Turkish military's General Staff are also working in a coordinated effort to follow the situation.
The decision to send ships belonging to the Turkish Marine Forces from Iskenderun Gulf into the "energy corridor" that lines the Mediterranean countries alongside Turkey falls into line with a decision made recently by the National Security Council (MGK) to follow a "Mediterranean Shield" concept.
Yesterday morning in Ankara, top level meetings between Foreign Minister Adullah Gul and General Yasar Buyukanit took place, with the developments surrounding Cyprus as a main topic. Buyukanit commented on the developments, telling reporters "We are not sending new ships to the region. As it is, we already have ships in the Aegean and the East Mediterranean. We have no need to send new ships."