Mediterranean crisis: Germany warns Turkey against 'provocation'

WION Web Team
Berlin, Germany Published: Oct 13, 2020, 03:07 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's drilling vessel Fatih sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea in Istanbul, Turkey Photograph:( Reuters )

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The warning came after Turkey redeployed a research ship at the centre of tensions with Greece over energy and maritime rights

Germany on Tuesday cautioned Turkey against its "cycle of detente and provocation" in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The warning came after Turkey redeployed a research ship at the centre of tensions with Greece over energy and maritime rights.

"If there should be renewed Turkish gas exploration in the more controversial sea areas in the eastern Mediterranean, this would be a serious setback for efforts to de-escalate," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of a trip to Cyprus and Greece.

"Ankara must end the cycle of detente and provocation if the government is interested in talks," said Maas, whose country heads the rotating presidency of the European Union.

The Turkish navy said the Oruc Reis ship will restart activities in the region, including the south of Kastellorizo, until October 22 in a message sent to the maritime alert system NAVTEX late on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Greece refused to hold talks with Turkey on defusing tension in the Mediterranean region unless Ankara withdraws an energy research ship from contested areas.

"(Greece) will not sit at the table for exploratory talks while the Oruc Reis and escorting warships are out there," Minister of State George Gerapetritis told Parapolitika radio.

He said Athens would "emphatically" raise the dispute at a European council meeting starting Thursday.

The deployment of Oruc Reis by Turkey had triggered diplomatic tensions and rival naval manoeuvres in August when it searched for oil and gas deposits, before Turkey pulled it back to shore last month.

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