Turkey’s Oruc Reis vessel to stay in E.Med until Aug 2023

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Turkey’s seismic research vessel, the MTA Oruc Reis will continue its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean until Aug. 27.

Turkey issued a Navtex (navigational telex) announcing an extension to the Oruc Reis’s research activities with the Cengiz Han and Ataman vessels.

Earlier, Turkey had announced that the ship would conduct research in the region until Aug. 23.

Navtex is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.

Turkey has resumed energy exploration earlier this month in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

The agreement came days after Ankara said it would postpone its oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture.

But, after declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void,” Turkey authorized the Oruc Reis to continue its activities in an area within Turkey’s continental shelf.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) — which has issued Turkish Petroleum a license — and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the only solution to the dispute was through dialogue and negotiation, urging Athens to respect Turkey’s rights.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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