Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic research vessel left Antalya Port early Monday morning following the declaration of 10-day-long Navtex (navigational telex) in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a Twitter post, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said the maintenance of Oruc Reis was concluded and it would hold seismic activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We will continue research, drilling and protect our rights,” Donmez said, adding his country was determined to find natural resources in the region, if there were any.

Navtex is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.

Oruc Reis paused its activities of seismic research and exploration in the region a while ago, and was put into maintenance in the Turkish coastal province of Antalya.

The vessel is capable of conducting geological, geophysical, hydrographic, and oceanographic surveys.

It also stands as one of the world’s top research ships, holding two-dimensional seismic operations up to 15,000-meter (49,212-feet) depth in the sea and hold two- and three-dimensional seismic, gravity, and magnetic geophysical research.

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey’s goodwill gesture in halting its search.

Declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void”, Turkey authorized the Oruc Reis to continue its activities in an area within Turkey’s continental shelf.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic vessel resumes exploration in Eastern Mediterranean

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas in Ankara.

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