Monday, 12 October 2020 11:31

Turkish Navy: ‘Oruc Reis’ will continue exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Turkish Navy said that the exploration vessel will return to the disputed waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, writes today. The Turkish ship ‘Oruc Reis’ returned to the waters near southern Turkey last month, and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed this move as a "first positive step."

However, the latest recommendation issued late on October 11 and concerning conduction of seismic surveys over the next 10 days is likely to reignite tensions in relations with Greece. According to the report, two other vessels - Ataman and Cengiz Han - will continue their work in the disputed waters together with the exploration vessel Oruc Reis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will "not make concessions" in the Eastern Mediterranean, and is determined to do whatever is necessary to assert his rights.

Speaking at an event commemorating the 11th century military victory by Seljuk Turks over the Byzantine Empire at Malazgirt, Erdogan also called on Greece to avoid mistakes that he said would “bring their destruction”.

"We do not watch over other people's territory, sovereignty and interests, but we will not compromise what is ours," Erdogan said.

It should be noted that amid growing tensions over energy resources, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on September 29 that the United States strongly supports the dialogue between Greece and Turkey. During a two-day trip to Greece, a high ranking U.S. diplomat said the United States is urging NATO allies to resume discussions on disputed issues as soon as possible.

Recently, US senators called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the EU to impose sanctions on key sectors of Turkey's economy for its "illegal" drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. The European Union has already imposed entry bans and freeze on assets of two executives of Turkish companies, while France has sent ships to the Eastern Mediterranean.

In addition, on September 22, Egypt hosted the signing ceremony of the Charter on the transformation of the existing Eastern Mediterranean gas forum into a full-fledged organization with the participation of representatives of 7 participating countries.

The Charter of the organization was developed by representatives of the ministries of energy of Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Palestine and Italy.

The organization's head office will be located in Cairo.

The Egyptian Ministry noted that the forum, created in 2019 and from which the new organization emerged, is aimed at creating a regional energy market, strengthening trade relations and meeting demand and supply in the participating countries.

The organization will ensure and promote the export of natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean region to Europe and other countries.


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