ATHENS

The Greek foreign minister on Tuesday asserted that Turkey’s legal activities carried out by the MTA Oruc Reis seismic research vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean “violate the Greek continental shelf.”

Speaking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Nikos Dendias threatened Turkey, saying that Greece “will not accept a fait accompli, there will be no tolerance.”

“We call on Turkey to leave the Greek continental shelf immediately,” said Dendias regardless of Turkey’s call on dialogue and negotiation.

Asserting that Turkey turned away from the modern understanding of the 21st century, he blamed Turkey for “acting insincerely.”

Dendias also said he had asked for an emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the issue.

While Ankara continues to defend its legitimate interests in the Eastern Mediterranean through diplomatic and military activities, it calls on the international community, especially the countries in the region, for comprehensive cooperation based on negotiations.

Last month, after Athens objected to Turkey’s seismic survey in an area south of the island of Meis, or Kastellorizo, German diplomatic efforts helped defuse tensions between Turkey and Greece.

But Greece’s controversial move last week to sign a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt, which Turkey says violates its continental shelf and maritime rights, has further sparked tension between the two neighbors.

Turkey also announced Monday that Oruc Reis will conduct research in the region until Aug. 23.

Ankara accuses Greece of pursuing maximalist policies in the Eastern Mediterranean and underlines that its maritime claims violate Turkey’s sovereign rights.

Turkey has long contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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