Greece says Turkish exploration applications attempt to ‘usurp’ Greek sovereign rights


Greece said on Monday the publication in the Turkish government’s gazette of Turkish Petroleum’s (TPAO) applications for an exploration permit in the eastern Mediterranean were another step in Ankara’s efforts to “usurp Greece’s sovereign rights.”

The publication showed a map with the 24 blocks that Ankara has demarcated from its shores to the point where its sea borders meet Libya, based on the maritime border agreement it signed with the North African country’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) last December.

“Turkey’s illegal activities do not produce any legal effects,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in comments on his official Twitter account. "Greece was and remains fully prepared to deal with this provocation, if Turkey decides to implement it."

Dendias said Athens' views on this issue are well-known and have been "repeatedly conveyed" to Turkey.

The exploration permits come after Libya’s internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the maritime delimitation deal with Turkey last year, aiming to create an exclusive economic zone that stretches from its southern coast to Libya’s northeast coast.

The deal has been condemned by Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt as illegal, while the European Union has also opposed it.