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Turkey FM vows to defend rights in Eastern Mediterranean

August 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkey on 5 May 2020 [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country will defend its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean region until the end, Reuters reported.

Ankara, he explained, would award licenses for drilling activities in the western part of the country’s maritime jurisdiction by the end of August.

“Our determination is unfaltering here,” he told reporters in Ankara. “We will not compromise in any way from this.

Earlier on Monday the Turkish navy issued an advisory known as a Navtex saying that the Oruc Reis vessel would conduct a seismic survey in an area of sea south of Turkey’s Antalya and west of Cyprus between 10-23 August.

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The area is in dispute with neighbouring Greece and Cyprus.

Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbon exploration.

In response to the Turkish announcement, Greece has called for an emergency meeting of the European Union foreign ministers to discuss Turkey’s “provocative” activities in the region.