Oruc Reis withdrawn for maintenance, say Turkish minstries

Oruc Reis withdrawn for maintenance, say Turkish minstries

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the return of the Oruc Reis seismic research vessel to the port of Antalya was for “maintenance and supplies,” echoing similar comments by the Energy Ministry challenging reports that it was a move aimed at de-escalating tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

The latest statement was reported by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency and comes after the Energy Ministry said that the Oruc Reis’ departure from the area close to the Greek island of Kastellorizo was part of a routine return to base for maintenance, fresh supplies and a crew rotation, adding that the ship will return to its mission once these tasks are carried out.

The return of the Oruc Reis and its navy escort to Antalya over the weekend had been interpreted – including by Turkish media – as an indication that Ankara was prepared to engage in talks with Greece for the de-escalation of tension in the region.

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