Greece calls notice to boaters extending Turkish explorations illegal

Athens, Nov 21 (EFE) .- Greece today described the notice to mariners (Navtex) issued by Turkey on the prolongation of its search for gas in the eastern Mediterranean as illegal, considering that said action would be carried out in waters that Athens considered under its jurisdiction.

The hydrographic service station of the Helena Navy in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, issued another Navtex which underlines that the Turkish warning comes from an ‘unauthorized station’ and refers to an ‘illegal activity’ because the area in which it is performs ‘overlaps with the Greek continental shelf’.

With this, Greece responds to the announcement issued hours before from the Turkish station of Antalya, in which it extends until November 29 the search for gas in waters over which Turkey claims exploitation rights, near the Greek island of Kastelorizo.

Before the announcement of this new extension, the seismic exploration vessel ‘Oruc Reis’, along with two other vessels, was scheduled to finish its explorations next Monday.

The dispute over the delimitation of maritime exclusive economic zones (EEZs) between Turkey and Greece is going through one of its worst moments since this summer, despite diplomatic efforts by several European countries to defuse tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece hopes that the European Union will offer a forceful response to Turkish provocations at its upcoming summit on December 10-11, after European leaders promised to revert to the issue of tensions in the Mediterranean at the end of the year in October if there were no improvements in relations with Ankara.EFE


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