Alexandros Diakopoulos, the prime minister’s National Security Adviser sought to clarify a statement on the Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis on Tuesday, noting that he told a news panel that the ship “tried” to conduct seismic survey in Greek waters but did not go through with it.
“I would like to clarify that my reference was about an ‘attempt’ to [conduct seismic] survey – based also on Turkish claims – but not conducting one, with the obvious aim of displaying a flag in the area of the illegal Turkish Navtex,” he said in a press release.
“I also clarified that it tried to conduct a [seismic] survey and stopped, since Turkey's real goal from the beginning was not to carry out seismic research.”
Appearing on Open TV channel earlier in the day, Diakopoulos was asked whether Oruc Reis had actually done any survey. “Yes, but the issue is more complicated. It has conducted [seismic] survey, let’s not kid ourselves. But its whole movement shows that this was not its intention, it was not the real reason of the survey,” he told journalists.
“In the first few days it did not do any surveying. When we brought up the issue in the media that it [the ship] is not surveying, it [the ship] exited [Greek waters] a bit, it spread the cables, it came back, did some surveying. At some point the weather picked up and it stopped the survey … Beyond that…since it [the ship] entered and surveyed, even for half an hour, it has disputed [territorial sovereignty].”