Turkey Continues To Drills Near The Coast Of Cyprus

Turkey Continues To Drills Near The Coast Of Cyprus

The saga continues, Turkey rejected Greece’s argument that its energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean encroaches on Greek territory, suggesting tensions in the region will remain high.

The seismic survey ship Oruc Reis will evaluate an area that was previously covered by another Turkish ship and lies within what Turkey declared to the United Nations as its own continental shelf, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Turkey will carry out the surveys until Aug. 2, while Greece’s armed forces are on standby monitoring for Turkish movements.

Tensions between Turkey and Greece have flared over issues such as oil and gas exploration in the shared waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas as well as flow of refugees through Turkey to European countries. The latest conflict came as a result of Turkey’s declaration that it will conduct seismic work from July 21 in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke with Angela Merkel on Tuesday evening when he informed the German chancellor about developments with Turkey.

Merkel also addressed the issue in a phone conversation Tuesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said. Without offering details of the conversation, Demmer said Germany’s position is “well known.”

During a visit to Athens Tuesday, Merkel’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, demanded that Turkey end its drilling off the coast of Cyprus. The EU must deliver a “clear” response to any such activities in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.

“This is the condition for there to be any future-oriented dialog between the European Union and Turkey,” Maas said alongside Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias. “There is a great deal of unity on this.”

Until this is resolved the tension between the two countries will continue.