Ankara has despatched a analysis ship again to contested waters, prompting offended responses from Athens and its allies.
The United States on Tuesday demanded that Turkey pull again an power analysis ship that it has despatched again to waters contested with Greece, calling the transfer a “calculated provocation”.
“We urge Turkey to end this calculated provocation and immediately begin exploratory talks with Greece,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus mentioned on Tuesday, including that Washington “deplores” Ankara’s determination.
Turkey’s transfer on Monday to hold out a seismic survey south of the Greek island Kastellorizo prompted anger from Greece, France and Germany.
Late on Sunday, Turkey’s navy issued an advisory, saying the Oruc Reis ship would conduct a seismic survey over the subsequent 10 days.
Energy Minister Fatih Donmez tweeted the Oruc Reis raised its anchor to “take the X-ray” of the Mediterranean seabed, after the completion of upkeep work.
“The new Turkish NAVTEX on surveys south of Kastellorizo within the Greek continental shelf, at a distance of just 6.5 nautical miles [12km] from Greek shores, is a major escalation,” Greece’s international ministry mentioned.
Turkey introduced final month that it was pulling the Oruc Reis to shore for upkeep and resupply, saying the transfer would give “diplomacy a chance”.
Monday’s transfer confirmed Ankara was “unreliable” and “does not really truly want a dialogue”, the assertion mentioned, because it got here days after Turkey dedicated to proposing a date for exploratory talks at a gathering between Greek and Turkish international ministers.
But Turkey mentioned Greece had no proper to oppose its work 15km (9.three miles) from its mainland within the Eastern Mediterranean and on its continental shelf.
Tensions got here to a head earlier this yr when all sides made overlapping claims to swaths of the Eastern Mediterranean, and Turkey dispatched the Oruc Reis to map out potential oil and gasoline drilling prospects, infuriating Greece.