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Ankara rejects Greece’s claim over Mediterranean seismic survey of continental shelf

Ankara rejects Greece’s claim over Mediterranean seismic survey of continental shelf

Ankara said on Wednesday that the eastern Mediterranean region where its ship will carry out a seismic survey is part of Turkey’s continental shelf, rejecting Greece’s accusation that the ship is encroaching on its own shelf.

Tensions between the NATO allies escalated after Turkey’s navy on Tuesday issued an advisory known as a Navtex for seismic surveys in waters between Cyprus and Crete, Reuters reports.

Athens and Ankara are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources, brought into sharper focus by attempts of Cyprus to also explore for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite Turkish objections.

The ship Oruc Reis will operate in an area where Ankara awarded licenses to Turkish energy company TPAO in 2012, within continental shelf boundaries of which the UN has been notified, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbons exploration.