Nikolaos Tamvakis /
Greek and Turkish ships are playing chicken at sea. There’s already been one crash

Last weekend, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Greece engage in talks over escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, warning that “they’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences.” The Greek government, meanwhile, announced further steps this week to bolster the country’s defenses.

New tensions between the two longtime rivals flared up in mid-August, when Turkey deployed the research vessel Oruç Reis, flanked by two warships, to explore for oil and gas in contested waters between the islands of Crete and Cyprus. Greece accused Turkey of violating its sovereign rights — and dispatched warships of its own, precipitating a collision between a Greek frigate and a Turkish warship.

How Greece and Turkey interpret international maritime law is key to understanding what’s going on in this contested part of the Mediterranean, a conflict that risks drawing in other countries, including GermanyFrance and the United Arab Emirates. Here’s what our research tells us.

Read the full article in the Washington Post.

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