This analysis was published by Al Jazeera International.
Greek-Turkish relations have been thrown into a new diplomatic crisis since November 28, when Turkey announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya delimiting their maritime boundaries.
The memorandum traces a corridor of water between the Turkish and Libyan coasts that cuts across what Greece views as its islands’ maritime area.
At stake are national prestige and the prospect of hydrocarbons. Greece and Turkey have not delimited their Exclusive Economic Zones, which allow countries to exploit undersea wealth. Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, who have delimited their EEZs, have all discovered offshore gas fields that can power their economies for decades.
Alarmed by Turkish statements that Turkey would send ships to look for oil and gas in its new dominions, Greece reinforced its military garrison on Crete and told Turkey that its drillships would be sunk.