Turkey extends work of Oruç Reis vessel through Sept 1

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Turkey has announced that its Oruç Reis exploration vessel will now carry out seismic surveys in the disputed areas of the eastern Mediterranean until Sept. 1.

According to a Navtex, an advisory to sailors, issued by Turkey on Aug. 27, the Oruç Reis and the two accompanying research vessels will continue their surveys for another four days in the same area claimed by Turkey and Greece as their sovereign continental shelf.

Earlier this month, Turkey said the Oruç Reis would conduct seismic exploration until Aug. 23. Late on Aug. 23, the Turkish navy issued a new advisory saying that the work of the Oruç Reis and two other vessels, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, would continue until Aug. 27.

Meanwhile, Turkey issued another Navtex for a shooting drill off the İskenderun coast in southern Turkey, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Aug. 27, underlining that the new advisory is not related with tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

“When we will do an activity in the sea, our marines will make an announcement,” Akar said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency.

“We are continuing our activities in this context. We will continue to do what is necessary,” he said.

Akar also underlined that while the Energy Ministry carries out its activities in the region, the Defense Ministry has to ensure security.“Today’s [Navtex] is completely different. It is a Navtex issued for a shooting drill in İskenderun region,” he said.

“We respect all our neighbor’s territorial integrity. We do not have an interest in anyone’s soil or sea. But we want everyone to know that we will not allow an attack against us,” he added.

“Everyone should know that the Turkish Republic has become a player in the international arena.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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