Is Turkey Blocking Greek Research Ships with GPS Jammer?

On 17 May 2018, an off-shore supply ship anchored in Limassol port, South Cyprus lost GPS signal for a long time. Later, the same ship lost GPS signal once more in Limassol port between 18-22 March 2018. After that when the ship left Limassol harbour and sailed to south on 22 March 2018, GPS system started to work.

Consecutive Events
Between 18-23 March 2018, same off-shore supply ship while approaching to Larnaca from West and while anchored in Larnaca, there was the same problem periodically and GPS system was completely lost. When the ship left the port on 24 March 2018 and sailed to 16 miles off the shore of South Cyprus, GPS system started to work again.

Between 18-24 March 2018, an off-shore ship lost GPS systems again near Limassol port.

Between 19-23 March 2018, 2 off-shore support ships experienced GPS jam and lost their position while sailing towards the northern part of Egypt.

On 23 March 2018, US MARAD organisation broadcasted 2018-004A warning and stated that there was GPS jamming around 32-24. 0N 029-29.9E between 18-22 March.

Additionally, 5 other ships experienced same problems and a plane flying between Port Said and South Cyprus also reported GPS jamming problem.

South Cyprus and Egypt made a deal for petrol search. During February and March, South Cyprus and Egypt signed a protocol for common petrol search and excavating 4.5 trillion cubic metre of gas from Aphrodite deposit.

Again, based on news published on open-source i.e. newspapers and journals, Turkish War Ship blocked Italian energy search ship Eni while sailing to east of South Cyprus. The same ship stated that there were blockages 2 weeks ago while searching.

On 15 July 1974, Turkey organised an attack to the island where Greek-Cyprus citizens lived. After this attack, on 20 July 1974, currently known Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was formed after the invasion of Turkey. For United Nations, TRNC is known as invading nation in Cyprus and only accepted by Turkey.

Cyprus citizens with Greek descendants live in an area that is internationally known and this place is known as Cyprus. Cyprus (South Cyprus) signed Enhanced Economic Zone agreement in Egypt and Israel.

Turkey has no permission for petroleum and gas searches without consent of TRNC and Turkish War ships physically prevent Cyprus citizens with Greek descendants to directly involve in searches as of 2017.

Global Positioning System or GPS was developed by American government in 1955 and introduced in American air system. According to this system, receivers receive positions from at least 3 satellites, form a triangle, and determine the position after calculations. Calculated position presents the position based on numbers/datum reference. GPS signal is a type of radio signal and constantly broadcasts from satellites to Earth. As satellites move away from orbit, system gets weaker and when satellites are positioned 12.000 mile above the ground, the system increases the strength. This changes based on atmosphere conditions. GPS blocking system or commonly known as Jammer, creates sound waves (noise), and mixes GPS signals. This way, errors occur when calculating fix position.

In addition to land-based systems, military ships has GPS Jammers. For example, submarines, and drone type air equipment have these systems as well. Various anti-jammer systems frequencies used in military are thought in Turkey as electronic war systems for decades.

As a result, position calculation obtained from GPS is extremely important while pipeline are installed in petroleum and gas searchers. Especially, it becomes more important while searching in 1000-metre depth. Off-shore supply ships also known as DP ships commonly visits search and scanning areas and work in these areas. When position cannot be obtained due to Jammer, it is called weapons or deadly weapons in off-shore petroleum and gas searching and causes undesired delays in these works. Limassol and Larnaca ports are main logistic ports of Greek side of Cyprus and they are also off-shore petroleum and gas logistic points of (South) Cyprus Republic. Such blocking around 16 miles away from Cyprus and Egypt show that MULTIPLE Jammers are simultaneously implemented. It is almost certainly possible that Turkish War ships will do the same in the future. GPS blocking system is a multi-functional tool and blocks off-shore petroleum and gas searches without political or deadly threats.

Source: Norwegian Shipowner’s Mutual War Risk Insurance Association

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Dana Goward
Dana Goward
27 June 2018 15:38

Interesting information, and it is clear that Turkey could do or may have done what is alleged. With all the jamming going on in Syria, and in other parts of the Mediterranean to cover up illegal fishing, jamming as described here in this post would be fairly camouflaged by all the other activity.

While Turkey could have done, is there any evidence that Turkey actually did? I didn’t see it in the blog post.

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