Turkey extends exploration in E Med to Nov 4

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Turkey issued on Oct. 24 another navigational telex, or Navtex, for seismic research activities of its Oruç Reis ship in the south of Rhodes Island, the disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean.

According to the naval maritime notice, the mission of the Oruç Reis seismic research vessel will continue for 10 days starting on Oct. 25.

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

Along with two other ships, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, Oruç Reis will continue to work in an area south of the Greek island of Rhodes until Nov. 4.

It will conduct various geological, geophysical, hydrographic and oceanographic surveys, especially of the continental shelf, while also searching for natural resources.

Oruç Reis was carrying out seismic research activities in the area between Kaş, Fethiye, Marmaris and Rhodes over a Navtex issued on Oct. 21.

NATO members Turkey and Greece are locked in a dispute over the extent of their continental shelves and conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

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 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 Turkish Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of South Cyprus.

As part of efforts to calm down tension in the region, Turkey and Greece have agreed to cancel rival military exercises that were to have been held this week on their respective national days, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Oct.23.

Hurriyet Daily News

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