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Greece warning : Turkey extends exploration ship operation period

Three parliamentary staff in Greece have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The three oil and gas exploration vessels sent by Turkey to the Eastern Mediterranean were originally scheduled to end operations on the 4th of this month. However, the earthwork extended the work period by 10 days on the 1st, which incurred condemnation from Greece.

The Turkish Navy issued information on the International Navigation Warning Facsimile System on the same day, announcing that the three exploration ships “Oruchi Reis”, “Ataman” and “Chenzi Khan” will be on the 1st of this month. Continue operations in the Eastern Mediterranean until the 14th.

On August 10, Turkey sent the “Oruchi Reis” to operate in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and sent warships to escort it. The exploration ship was withdrawn in mid-September. 

As the earth-moving vessel operating area is located in the disputed waters between Turkey and Greece and Cyprus, the earth-moving exploration activities are strongly opposed by Greece and Cyprus.

The Turkish and Greek sides previously fought both “wars of words” and “showing their muscles” and held military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean. Under the mediation of Germany, Tuxi agreed to resume the dialogue that was interrupted in 2016 on oil and gas exploration.

The Turkish side once again dispatched the “Oruchi Reis” to the Eastern Mediterranean on October 12, triggering a new round of diplomatic friction between the two sides. 

The Greek side asked the Turkish side to withdraw the ship, otherwise it refused to talk. Not to be outdone, the earthwork announced three consecutive extensions of the exploration ship’s operating period.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded later on the 1st that the latest move by the Turkish side “ignores the basic norms of international law” and is an “illegal exploration activity.” 

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