Turkey's military has announced it will hold "shooting exercises" - or live-fire drills in the eastern Mediterranean from Sept.1 through the 2nd, after a series of military drills in the area meant as a 'show of force' in protection of Turkish oil and gas exploration vessels.
This means we could witness simultaneous, dueling military exercises given Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and France are themselves holding joint drills this week, after the EU has threatened sanctions on Turkey, and as the maritime dispute rapidly escalates.
Crucially, Erdogan is now bluntly warning Greece that Turkey ready to go to war and that "no concessions" will be made amid a flurry of European diplomatic activity and mediation attempts.
Tensions within NATO are breaking point, given especially France spearheading the Greek cause.
"The Turkish navy issued the latest advisory, known as a Navtex, on Thursday saying it will hold the shooting exercises in the eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Iskenderun, northeast of Cyprus," Al Jazeera reports.
Germany has called for urgent talks toward deescalating the crisis:
Germany called for an end to military drills taking place in the eastern Mediterranean in a bid to defuse tensions between Greece and Turkey, which are embroiled in a dispute over offshore energy exploration rights. https://t.co/3atRKTt3PZ— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) August 27, 2020
Turkey's Foreign Ministry has slammed France's involvement, with spokesman Hami Aksoy accusing Paris of violating treaties related to Cypriot independence going back to the 1960s (very ironic considering Turkey has for decades occupied northern Cyprus).
The statement further charged France with "dangerously" stoking tensions in sending its ‘Lafayette’ frigate and three Rafale fighter jets to Cyprus.