Turkey extends exploration in disputed East Med again

Turkey says it is extending seismic exploration by its vessels in a disputed area of the Eastern Mediterranean until November 4, a step that Greece called “illegal”.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have been locked in a dispute over the extent of their continental shelves and conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the East Med.

The dispute erupted in August when Turkey first sent the ship Oruc Reis into waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

Along with two other ships, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, Oruc Reis will continue work in an area south of the Greek island of Rhodes until November 4, a Turkish naval maritime notice said late on Saturday.

A previous notice scheduled survey work in the area until October 27.

The Greece’s foreign ministry said it would file a complaint with the Turkish side following the new advisory, which Athens said was in an area within the Greek continental shelf.

It added that the extension of the survey was an “illegal move” at odds with efforts to ease tensions and with recent conclusions of the council of EU heads of government.

“Greece blatantly condemns this unacceptable behaviour, which is essentially moving even further away from the prospect of a constructive dialogue,” the ministry said in a statement, calling for the advisory to be revoked immediately.

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