Turkey extends oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean once again

Turkey on August 31 once again extended the exploration of oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea by the exploration ship “oluci Reyes”, which caused accusations from the Greek government. < / P > < p > the Turkish Navy announced that the “oluci Reyes” will continue exploration until September 12. Earthwork has previously extended the exploration period of the ship twice, the last time to September 1. < p > < p > “oluci Reyes” started exploration in the sea area between Cyprus and Crete on August 10, and was escorted by Turkish warships. Greece accused Turkey of “illegal” exploration in the “Greek continental shelf” waters, and sent warships to monitor the earthwork exploration ships. Turkey has the right to explore in the waters off the “Turkish continental shelf,” the government said. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at an event on August 31 that the “oluci Reyes” will “resolutely continue” exploration, and Turkey “hopes to get good news in the Mediterranean as soon as possible, just like in the Black Sea”. Turkey announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea in late August. < / P > < p > as for the further extension of exploration in Turkey, the Greek foreign ministry accused Turkey of ignoring the European Union’s call for dialogue, “intensifying provocation” and “undermining regional security and stability”. < / P > < p > in an interview with Greek radio and television organizations on August 31, Greek government spokesman stilios pachas said that Turkey needs to “demote” the tension by action, or it will be subject to EU sanctions. < / P > < p > recently, the EU has repeatedly expressed its support for Greece on the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, calling on Turkey to stop exploration and dialogue with Greece to resolve the dispute. EU high representative for foreign and security policy Josep Borelli said at a press conference on August 28 that on the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, the EU can take economic measures against Turkey, which may be discussed at the EU summit on September 24. Pachas said that Greece is scheduled to announce a plan to increase its military strength in mid September. He did not mention more information. The media speculated that Greece might buy 18 fighters and two frigates from France. < / P > < p > recently, Greece and Turkey held military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean respectively. Warships and warplanes from Greece, France and Cyprus conducted a joint drill from August 26 to 28. Turkey and Cyprus also have disputes over resources in the eastern Mediterranean.