Recent US statement on east Med inconsistent, says Turkey

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Turkey on Oct. 13 strongly rebuffed U.S.’ recent statement on the country’s survey activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, calling it a “serious inconsistency”.

“It is a serious inconsistency for the U.S. to criticize the Oruç Reis seismic vessel’s research activities pursued in Turkey’s continental shelf, as it [U.S.] previously said the Seville Map, representing Greek/Greek Cypriots’ maximalist maritime jurisdiction claims in the Eastern Mediterranean, has no legal validity,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement.

Aksoy further noted that the same “inconsistency” is also observed among some EU countries’ statements.

The statement came shortly after US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus described Turkey’s survey activity in the Eastern Mediterranean as a “provocation”.

“It is not Turkey that escalates tensions in the Aegean and the Mediterranean, but rather Greece and Greek Cyprus,” Aksoy added.

He also said the ministry has shared with the public “the activities of Greece which have escalated the tensions since Sept. 12”.

Renewed efforts of Oruç Reis in the Eastern Mediterranean will be within the Turkish continental shelf hundreds of kilometers away from the Greek mainland, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had said Monday.

It urged Greece to withdraw its maximalist demands, end military drills that escalate regional tensions, and establish a sincere dialogue through exploratory talks.

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey’s goodwill gesture in halting its search.

Declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void”, Turkey authorized the Oruç Reis to continue 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 Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus.

Hurriyet Daily News

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