Turkish Research Vessel Enters Greece’s Continental Shelf



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The Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis entered the seas atop Greek continental shelf early on Tuesday, about 35 nautical miles south of Kastellorizo.

The ship had set sail on Monday from the port of Antalya, while its global positioning system was turned off for several hours.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is expected in Athens on Tuesday evening for talks with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister on the fresh tensions in the eastern Mediterranean called on Turkey to refrain from further provocations.

“Ankara must end the interplay between detente and provocation if the government is interested in talks – as it has repeatedly affirmed,” Maas said in Berlin before his flight to Cyprus and Greece.

Greece will not engage in exploratory talks with Turkey as long as the Turkish survey vessel Oruc Reis remains in its continental shelf waters, the government’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

“As long as the Oruc Reis is in the area we will not hold exploratory contacts with Turkey,” Stelios Petsas told Skai Radio.

On Monday, Greece said Ankara’s decision to send the vessel close to Kastellorizo, a Greek island near the Turkish coast, was a “major escalation” and a “direct threat to peace in the region”.