Turkey has placed Navy war ships on alert in the Aegean due to the prospect of “provocations from the Greek side”, the state-run Anadolu News Agency and Hurriyet daily have reported.

The move comes straight on the heels of Greece’s joint (with Bulgarian, Romanian and Serbian forces) Special Operations Forces Exercises, named “Salamis Storm 2018”, which ended on 6 June.

“Be ready” was the title of Hurriyet’s report, which apparently echoes the orders given by Turkish military top brass.

The Naval Forces Command of the Turkish armed forces ordered that one frigate and two gunboats be placed on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, along with a SAT commandos underwater offence unit.

The Turkish military maintains that the move is in response to Greek efforts to escalate tensions in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.