The Conflict in Eastern Mediterranean

By Orhan Coskun
Aug 13, 2020

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey wants to resolve its dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean through dialogue, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday, while vowing to defend Turkey’s coastal interests.

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, vehemently disagree over overlapping claims to hydrocarbon resources in the region based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in waters dotted with mostly Greek islands.

Tensions rose when Ankara sent an exploration vessel on Monday to a disputed area of the Mediterranean, accompanied by warships. Greece says the Oruc Reis is operating illegally in its continental shelf, accusations which Ankara has dismissed.

“Despite all this, we want to believe that common sense will prevail. Both on the field and at the table, we side with international law, good neighbourliness and dialogue,” Akar told Reuters. “We want to reach political solutions through peaceful means in line with international laws.”