IZMIR, Turkey

Turkey’s MTA Oruc Reis seismic vessel have reached its new destination for conducting seismic research activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Monday.

“Our MTA Oruc Reis seismic research vessel, reached the operation area after departing from Antalya, for its new mission in Mediterranean. 83 million Turkish people support you, Oruc reis,” Donmez wrote on Twitter.

Donmez stressed that the search activities in Mediterranean and Black Sea will continue nonstop for achieving Turkey’s energy independence.

As part of the country’s hydrocarbon exploration activities, Turkey announced the drillship MTA Oruc Reis’ new seismic research activity in the Eastern Mediterranean via NAVTEX (navigational telex) starting August 10, 2020.

Oruc Reis will continue its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with Cengiz Han and Ataman vessels until August 23.

The seismic vessel was built by Turkish engineers in a domestic shipyard in Istanbul.

The vessel, which has 30 years of service life, can sail non-stop for 35 days.

The ship has a helicopter pad, hydrography and oceanography features and it has the ability to scan the sea-floor up to depth of 15,000 meters.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

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