Turkey issued a new Navtex for the Oruç Reis seismic exploration vessel to carry out activities south of the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) until Oct. 22, reports said Sunday.
After Athens objected to Ankara’s seismic survey in an area south of the island of Kastellorizo, German diplomatic efforts helped defuse tensions between the two neighbors.
But Greece’s controversial move to sign a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt, which Turkey says violates its continental shelf and maritime rights, has exacerbated tensions between Athens and Ankara.
Ankara accuses Athens of pursuing maximalist policies in the Eastern Mediterranean and underlines that its maritime claims constituted a violation of Turkey’s sovereign rights.
The Oruç Reis returned to the Turkish port of Antalya in mid-September, after its time at sea – as determined in its latest Navtex declaration – came to an end.
The vessel’s exploration work was initially scheduled to last until Sept. 1. However, later on, the period was extended until Sept. 12, with the expectation of another extension later, continuing until Sept. 25. However, many argue that talks between Turkey and Greece initiated by NATO last week are the main reasons behind the vessel’s break from work in order to enhance dialogue and ease tension. Still, Turkey highlighted multiple times that the vessel’s work will continue after a short break since the country’s determination to maintain its rights in the region remains strong.