Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that Greece is causing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean by making “maximalist claims” over its sovereignty, as the country’s seismic research vessel Oruc Reis remained in an area south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.
“Greece claims 40,000 km2 of maritime jurisdiction area due to this tiny island and attempts to stop the Oruc Reis and block Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Cagatay Erciyes, a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official, was quoted as saying on Monday by state-run Anadolu Agency.
“This maximalist claim is not compatible with international law. It is against the principle of equity. Yet Greece asks the EU and US to support this claim and put pressure on Turkey to cease its legitimate offshore activities. This is not acceptable and reasonable,” he added.
Erciyes shared a map Monday showing the offshore survey activity of Oruc Reis which he claimed is inside Turkey’s continental shelf.
“It is Greece, not Turkey who creates tensions in the area due to such maximalist claims,” he said.
On Monday, Greece’s armed forces were placed in high alert, with units of the Hellenic Navy and Air Force deployed in the wider sea area where the Turkish research was expected.