Greece says it has asked Turkey to explain the presence of a Turkish naval research vessel in the northern Aegean Sea.
A Foreign Ministry statement released Wednesday says the “Cesme” hydrographic and oceanographic vessel is outside Greek waters, between Thrace and the island of Samothraki.
But it says the vessel is within Greece’s continental shelf, the stretch of the seabed where Athens claims the rights for exploration and exploitation of potential mineral and fossil fuel deposits.
A Greek naval vessel is monitoring the Cesme, which issued signals that it is undertaking marine research and sails currently 15 miles around Samothraki.
According to the Press Release , Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in close contact and coordination with the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry has addressed the Turkish side to seek an explanation for the activity of the Cesme.
“The voyage and the ship’s activities are monitored and guided the defense of sovereign rights and powers of our country under the Convention on the Law of the Sea” the statement of Greek Foreign Ministry concludes.
Uneasy NATO allies Greece and Turkey came close to war three times between 1974 and 1996 — once over a Turkish research vessel in the Aegean
The Cesme vessel belongs to Turkish Navy, Department of Hydrography, Oceanography and Navigation.
A couple of weeks ago, Greece announced it will initiate sea exploration research for potential minerals and fossil fuel deposits in Western Greece.
More details about the Cesme vessel: http://www.researchvessels.org/ship_info_display.asp?shipID=694
Thumbnail photo from www.exothema.gr and cwww.cosmo.gr