The Aegean: Major Alert, Minor Dispute

Major Alert, Minor Dispute

As international crises go, it would be hard to find a more mundane conflict than one about oil-drilling rights in a disputed patch of the Aegean Sea. Yet last week Greece and Turkey came close to blows over just that argument. Athens ordered its military forces on full alert and threatened to forcibly prevent the Turkish research vessel Sismik 1, with an escort of two warships, from conducting petroleum explorations in waters near the Greek islands of Lesbos, Lemnos and Samothrace.

Tensions between the two NATO allies abated, at least temporarily, when the Sismik 1 began seismic tests in Turkish waters....

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