Turkey extends seismic surveys in troubled Mediterranean waters until September 12

On August 31, Turkey said that its Oruc Reis exploration vessel will carry out seismic surveys in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until September 12.

The Turkish Navy issued an advisory saying that the Oruc Reis would continue working until September 12 which was previously scheduled to work until September 1.

Turkey’s decision has provoked a fuming response from Greece as both the NATO allies, vehemently disagree over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in the eastern Mediterranean water.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry called the advisory illegal and urged Turkey to ease tensions and work for stability in the region. In an official statement, the Foreign Ministry said, “Turkey continues to ignore calls for dialogue and to escalate its provocations…Greece won’t be blackmailed.”

Both sides have held military exercises in this area, that holds potential for the dispute over the extent of their continental shelves to escalate.

The advisory came after the European Union’s executive earlier on August 31, called for dialogue with Turkey and demanded that Ankara refrain from unilateral steps that stoke tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

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