Turkey has dismissed as "null and void" a recent Greek statement that said a seismic research vessel operating in Turkish waters in the Eastern Mediterranean was violating "international law and undermines peace and stability in the region."
"These statements are based on Greece's maximalist maritime boundary claims that are contrary to international law and customs, and it is null and void for us (Turkey)," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in his response to the Greek Foreign Ministry's claim on the recently announced activity of the Oruç Reis research vessel.
He underlined Turkey's determination to protect its own legitimate rights and interests and those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). He called on Athens to accept Turkey's call for dialogue without preconditions.
"If Greece is sincere with its statements calling for a solution in the region then it should respond positively to our calls for dialogue without preconditions instead of making statements that would increase tensions, carrying out military activities or misleading and provoking third-parties against Turkey."
Earlier, Turkey issued another navigational telex, or Navtex, for the area in the Eastern Mediterranean where it will conduct seismic research activities until Nov. 23.
According to the announcement, the mission, which will be carried out by Oruç Reis, will continue for 12 days starting Wednesday.
A Navtex is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area as well as other information.
The drillship will conduct various geological, geophysical, hydrographic and oceanographic surveys, particularly on Turkey's continental shelf, while also searching for natural resources.
In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey's goodwill gesture in halting its search.
Declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal "null and void," Turkey authorized the Oruç Reis to continue its activities in an area within Turkey's continental shelf.
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