Turkey Launches Largest Naval Exercise
Turkey's military launched the largest naval exercise in its history on Thursday, February 28, carrying out drills with frigates, corvettes and submarines in the Black Sea, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.The nine-day exercise is aimed at testing the readiness of command bases and operation centers throughout Turkey's territorial waters, the defense ministry said.On board the frigate TCG Barbaros, gunners fired live ammunition at mock targets floating on the waves. Nearby, helicopters lowered soldiers onto a ship's deck…
Greece, Turkey Snipe Over Maritime Borders
Turkey warned Greece on Tuesday it would not tolerate a shift in Greece's maritime border, drawing a sharp rebuke from Athens that it would decide when and how it exercises its sovereign rights.The statements from both sides came a few days after Greece's former foreign minister said Greece planned to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles to the west of the country.Territorial waters are a sensitive issue between the two neighbors and NATO allies, who are separated by the Aegean Sea and have been at odds over airspace, ethnically split Cyprus and offshore mineral rights for decades.Turkey has previously warned it could not preclude military action to defend its interests.Former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias…
Kouroumplis: Greece Continues to Pace the Global Shipping Sector
As the maritime market steers toward Athens, Greece and Posidonia 2018, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News interviews Panagiotis Kouroumplis, the Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy. As the Minister of Shipping for the country with the largest merchant fleet and a millennia-old maritime tradition, Kouroumplis carries his responsibilities with pride and humility.Born in Aetoloakarnania in 1951, Kouroumplis holds a Law degree and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Athens.
Greek Gunboat on Patrol Nudged by Turkish Cargo Vessel - Navy
A Greek gunboat was nudged by a Turkish cargo vessel early on Friday while on patrol for unauthorized migrant crossings in the Aegean Sea, the Greek navy said.The gunboat "Armatolos" was on patrol off the island of Lesbos as part of a NATO operation when the incident occurred at 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT).The Turkish-flagged vessel "approached and touched" the Greek gunboat, the navy said in a statement. It then accelerated towards Turkish shores and did not respond to subsequent radio calls from the Greek gunboat, according to the statement.The Greek navy said NATO authorities had been informed, adding that there were no injuries or any serious damage to the ship.
No Casualties after Aegean Sea Collision
There were no casualties after a Turkish cargo ship collided with a Greek warship in the Aegean Sea early on Friday, Turkey's Ministry of Transport said. The Greek navy earlier said one its gunboats was nudged by a Turkish cargo vessel while on patrol for unauthorised migrant crossings in the Aegean. "We have received information that there is no threat of sinkage, death, casualties or environmental pollution," the ministry said in a statement. Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Ezgi Erkoyun
Greece Says Won't Tolerate Turkish Challenge after Ship Collision
Greece will not tolerate any challenges to its territorial integrity, its prime minister said on Thursday, days after Turkish and Greek coastguard vessels collided close to disputed islets in the Aegean Sea. Each side blamed the other for Monday’s collision off an islet known as Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish. They came to the brink of war in 1996 in a sovereignty dispute over the islets. Seeking international support, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined that Greece’s border was also that of the 28-nation European Union, and his foreign minister briefed the head of NATO and the U.S.
Greece Protests to Turkey Over Boat Incident in Aegean Sea
Greece sent an official complaint to Turkey on Tuesday, its foreign ministry said, after a Turkish vessel collided with a Greek coast guard boat off disputed islets in the Aegean Sea. The Greek coastguard said in a statement that the incident took place at Imia, known as Kardak in Turkish, at about midnight on Monday. A Turkish patrol vessel "made some risky manoeuvres" striking the left side of the Greek coast guard vessel patrolling the area, and damaging it. There were no injuries, the coastguard said. Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically split Cyprus to sovereignty over airspace and overflights. They came to the brink of war in 1996 in a sovereignty dispute over the islets, but tensions have eased since.
BMT and MSI in Joint Alexandroupolis FSRU Terminal Project Award
BMT and Metocean Services International (MSI) have been jointly awarded a contract by Gastrade to deploy an Environmental Monitoring System (EMS) and develop metocean criteria to be utilized for the design of the offshore moored FSRU and the subsea pipeline to shore. The Alexandroupolis FSRU will be located offshore Greece in the northern Aegean Sea in approximately 40m water depth and will connect to shore via a 24km subsea pipeline. The FSRU is part of the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System which aims to create a new natural gas gateway to central and south-eastern Europe.
CMA CGM Launches Direct Service to Black Sea
In line with its strategy for the development of short lines in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the CMA CGM Group has rolled out the Black Sea Med Express service, which connects the major countries around the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania and Ukraine) to Algeria and Morocco. The service will be CMA CGM's first to offer a weekly connection between the main ports of the Black Sea and Aegean Sea with the North of Morocco (Tangier and Casablanca) and Algeria (Annaba) in order to develop the activity between The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with short lines.
Fuel Consumption, Emissions Monitoring Software Updated
As part of the ongoing Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project, Eco Marine Power (EMP) stated that the Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS) installed on Blue Star Delos has been updated with new fuel oil consumption (FOC) and emissions monitoring software. This updated software combined with the Aquarius MAS hardware allows for fuel consumption data from all flow meters on the ship to be displayed and logged in real-time. In addition CO2, NOx and SOx emissions are calculated based on the fuel type being used.
Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets in Search of Missing Vessels
Turkish F-16 fighter jets scrambled on Wednesday to check reports that missing Turkish coastguard vessels had appeared in Greek waters in the Aegean Sea, Turkish military sources said. They gave no further details. Some Turkish military hardware was seized and used in last weekend's failed coup in which more than 230 people were killed. Officials have said no military equipment remains unaccounted for. Turkey's government and military General Staff say they are fully in control of the situation in the country but tensions remain high as the authorities purge tens of thousands of suspected coup supporters from state institutions, including in the armed forces. Reporting by Istanbul bureau
Renewable Energy on Ships: ECO Marine Sees Potential in U.S.
In a step towards bringing renewable energy to shipping, Eco Marine Power (EMP) has been granted a United States Patent for technology related to its wind and solar power system for ships – Aquarius MRE. As a result, EMP now intends to explore joint development project opportunities in the United States and is currently considering a number of options. Technologies related to EMP's Aquarius MRE can be incorporated into existing ship designs such as cruise ships, RoRo vessels, large ferries, car carriers or into future design concepts such as the Aquarius Eco Ship.
Countries Must Do More to help Greece with Migrant Crisis - U.N. chief
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Saturday for countries to do more to help cope with Europe's migrant crisis, saying Greece could not manage on its own. Speaking in Athens before heading to the Greek island of Lesbos, the gateway into Europe for nearly a million people last year, Ban said Greece had shown "remarkable solidarity and compassion" in dealing with the hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing war, despite its economic hardship. "Greece should not be left alone to address this challenge on its own…
Lifeboat Donated to Hellenic Rescue Team
A new lifeboat has been donated to the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) by fellow International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) members the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (RS), and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ‘Norway II’ is the second lifeboat to be donated to HRT and follows ‘Norway I’ that has operated since September last year in the Aegean Sea around Kos. In her speech on Lesvos, the ‘godmother’ of the boat, Mrs. Marit Nybakk, Vice President of the Parliament…
Maritime Turkey Set for a Tailwind
Turkey is strategically located, straddling both Europe and Asia with substantial number of Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea ports, thus making maritime trade and shipping of great importance to the country’s economy. Its extensive coastline running for 8,483 km, (1,067 km of which is island shores) has greatly contributed to the growth of Turkey’s maritime sector. Turkish shipyards have a tradition spanning eight centuries. At the time of the Ottoman Empire, shipyards were able to build large…
NATO to Boost Effort to Stop Mediterranean Smugglers
NATO agreed on Thursday to broaden its operations in the Mediterranean to help the European Union stop criminals trafficking refugees from North Africa but will not act until the fate of rescued migrants is cleared up. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a meeting of NATO foreign ministers supported the wider role as Europe struggles with failing states on its fringes and said NATO should link up with the EU's "Sophia" naval mission in the area. This could be a step towards NATO helping stabilise Libya by patrolling coastal waters to uphold a U.N. arms embargo and counter the growing presence of Islamic State, a step that would likely need U.N. Security Council support, diplomats said.
New Lifeboat Station Aids Greek SAR Services
A new lifeboat station has been opened on the Greek island of Chios – with the cooperation of International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) members – to help support the rescue of migrants in the Aegean. The Lifeboat station was made possible through a partnership between Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij (KNRM), the maritime search and rescue service from the Netherlands, and the Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT), and with the support of the Maria Tsakos Foundation along with community leaders and local volunteers. At an event to celebrate the opening of the centre – which was completed in only three months – two lifeboat vessels donated by the KNRM, Athena and Arina to be deployed on the surrounding waters, were also christened.
Merkel Visit aims to Soothe EU Migrant Tensions
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will use a visit to Turkey this weekend to try to soothe tensions over a deal meant to stem the flow of migrants to Europe as questions about its effectiveness and long-term viability mount. The pact, which came into force almost three weeks ago, aims to help end the chaotic arrival of migrants and refugees on the Greek islands, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. More than one million reached Europe last year. The deal initially slowed the numbers of new arrivals to Greece sharply, but boats have been coming again with about 150 people a day, indicating the "hermetic sealing" of the route appears to be over, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
UN Deal Sends More Migrants to Turkey from Greece
Two ferries carrying more than 120 migrants returned to Turkey from the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, in the second round of arrivals under an EU deal with Ankara to stem mass migration to Europe across the Aegean Sea. The accord, which came into force on Monday, aims to help end a chaotic influx into the European Union of migrants and refugees, most fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, after more than 1 million arrived last year. Around 325 people have now been sent back from the Greek islands under the accord, which the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) has condemned and rights advocates say may violate international law. They are to be sent to a camp near Turkey's border with Bulgaria, to which the UNHCR said it had yet to gain access.
Migrants Returned from Greece arrive in Turkey
Three passenger boats return migrants from Lesbos, Chios; desperate migrants continue to cross despite deal. The first migrants deported from Greek islands under a disputed EU-Turkey deal were shipped back to Turkey on Monday in a drive to shut down the main route by which a million people fleeing war and poverty crossed the Aegean Sea in the last year. Under the pact criticised by refugee agencies and human rights campaigners, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians. In return, the European Union will take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.
Smugglers Use Facebook to Advertise Boat Trips to Italy After EU-Turkey Deal
Smugglers based in Turkey are offering to take migrants to Italy instead of Greece where they are likely to be deported under a deal between the Ankara government and European Union, according to a newspaper report. The Guardian said on Thursday that smugglers had used Facebook to advertise a boat trip to Italy from the Turkish port of Mersin - at a cost of $4,000 per person, four times the price of a journey from Turkey to Greece. "The trip is on Saturday, from Mersin to Italy, on a merchant ship 110 metres long, equipped with food, water, life jackets and medicine," the Guardian quoted the post as saying. The advert, which was no longer visible on Facebook on Friday…
Migrant Arrivals to Greece Rise Sharply
Arrivals of refugees and migrants to Greece from Turkey rose sharply on Wednesday, just over a week since the European Union and Turkey struck a deal intended to cut off the flow. Greek authorities recorded 766 new arrivals between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning, up from 192 the previous day. Most arrived on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos. Italy reported an even larger jump in arrivals on Tuesday, when officials there said 1,350 people - mostly from Africa - were rescued from small boats taking the longer migration route over the Mediterranean as the weather warmed up. The EU Commission said on Tuesday that the flows in the last week had reduced…
Turkish Authorities Intercept Hundreds of Migrants Trying to Cross Aegean
Turkish authorities intercepted hundreds of migrants trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, in a major operation involving coastguard ships and helicopters, as European leaders clinched an agreement with Ankara to halt illegal migration. Around 1,200 migrants, many detained at sea and the others in hostels and streets on Turkey's Aegean coast, were being taken to a sports hall in the town of Dikili, a senior local security official told Reuters. The migrants, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, would be questioned to determine their backgrounds and what action would be taken next, officials said. "I think there are many people running from war to Europe, and I guess it's a (problem)," said Issam Katib, 27, who fled from Damascus and was among those detained.