Ankara to Resume Geological Exploration in Disputed East Med Area Until June 15

© REUTERS / YORUK ISIKTurkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis sails in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, November 12, 2018.
Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis sails in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, November 12, 2018. - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey's Oruc Reis vessel will continue its seismic exploration mission in the Greek-claimed waters of the Eastern Mediterranean near the Greek island of Kastellorizo until June 15, 2021, the Turkish navy's Office of Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography said on Tuesday.

According to a new Navtex advisory, Oruc Reis will conduct research along with Ataman and Cengizhan vessels. The latest Navtex advisory expired on November 29.

Turkey has been engaged in a long-standing maritime border dispute with Greece and Cyprus over the size of their exclusive economic zones in the Eastern Mediterranean. Athens and Nicosia have voiced strong objections to the presence of Turkish exploration vessels in waters that both Greece and Cyprus claim to be part of their respective exclusive economic zones. The scramble for exclusive rights to the area is exacerbated by the presence of considerable gas deposits in the region.

Earlier in December, European Union leaders decided to expand the list of individual sanctions against Turkey over its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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