Turkey continues pressure in energy exploration dispute

Turkey said on Monday August 31st that its Oruc Reis exploration vessel would be carrying out seismic surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean until September 12th. It had previously been scheduled to be carrying out surveys until September 1st.

Turkey and Greece disagree strongly over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area, mainly based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in waters that are dotted with mostly Greek islands. The EU is siding with its member state Greece and with Cyprus.

Both Turkey and Greece have held military exercises in the area.

The EU executive earlier on Monday had called for a dialogue with Turkey. It insisted that Ankara refrain from unilateral steps that might increase tensions.

Greece’s foreign ministry called the advisory illegal and urged Turkey to ease tensions and work for stability in the region.

“Turkey continues to ignore calls for dialog and to escalate its provocations. Greece won’t be blackmailed.”

Turkey’s latest advisory referred to a specific exploration area.

Turkey also said in a separate statement that it would be holding a military exercise off northwest Cyprus until September 11th.