Ankara on Tuesday responded to a complaint from Athens concerning a map published in the Turkish government’s gazette outlining areas where Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has applied for exploration licenses, including several within Greece’s continental shelf, by insisting that these areas are within the boundaries Turkey has submitted to the United Nations.
“Our country will continue to resolutely exercise its sovereign rights in this area, which it has announced many times. We are fully determined to protect the rights of our country and those of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. In this framework, our seismic research and drilling activities are carried out according to the previously determined program,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Tuesday, responding to a complaint from Athens.
The map in question shows 24 blocks that Ankara has demarcated from its shores to the point where its sea borders meet Libya’s, based on the maritime border agreement it signed with the North African country’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) last year.
Athens sees the map as an illustration of Turkey’s claims that encroach on Greek sovereign rights, as some of these blocks are located 6 nautical miles east of Rhodes, Karpathos, Kassos and eastern Crete.
Turkey’s Ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin was summoned to the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens on Monday, where he was handed a demarche.