Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa, a Turkish seismic exploration vessel working in the eastern Mediterranean, will continue its operations following a recent incident involving a Greek frigate, Turkish energy minister said Friday.
On Thursday, a Greek frigate trying to interfere with the research vessel was blocked by the Turkish navy. The incident prompted an immediate response from Turkish officials who warned Greece against taking actions in the Mediterranean Sea that would spark tensions in the region.
The Foreign and Energy Ministries issued separate statements over the incident, saying Turkey would continue to defend its rights under international law.
Speaking at a press conference in the western city of Izmir, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez reiterated that the moves of the Greek Cypriot administration in the Mediterranean were "unacceptable".
"Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa will continue its operations in the Mediterranean Sea," Donmez said, adding the Turkish Naval Forces had redefined the naval engagement rules following the incident, and the new rules will be disclosed soon.
Also speaking at the conference, the economy and energy minister of
Nami accused the Greek Cypriot administration of taking unilateral steps in the region despite the Turkish Cypriot side's "friendly" approach. "That's why we will continue to defend our interests," he said.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.
By Murat Temizer