Turkey says despatched Cypriot vessel away from its continental shelf

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ANKARA, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Turkey despatched a Greek Cypriot analysis vessel away from what it says is its continental shelf within the Mediterranean on Sunday after it entered the world with out permission, Turkey’s Defence Ministry mentioned, in an indication of renewed tensions.

For a long time, Turkey has been at odds with Greece and Cyprus over competing territorial claims within the east Mediterranean, air area, power, the standing of some islands within the Aegean, and the breakaway Turkish state on the divided island of Cyprus.

After months of pressure final yr that sparked fears of direct confrontation between NATO members Turkey and Greece, the 2 sides agreed in January to renew talks to deal with their variations after a five-year hiatus.

The subsequent spherical of talks will probably be in Ankara on Wednesday.

Cyprus was break up in a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a short Greek-inspired coup. Since then, Cyprus has been run by a Greek Cypriot administration within the south that Ankara doesn’t recognise, and ties with the Turkish state to the north are actually at their lowest level.

The Turkish Defence Ministry mentioned in Monday’s assertion that the Nautical Geo, a Greek-Cypriot analysis vessel below the Maltese flag, was taken away from the Turkish continental shelf on the weekend after being warned that it was trespassing.

Ankara additionally launched diplomatic initiatives with Malta and Italy, the nation of the ship’s proprietor, it mentioned.

“Despite these initiatives from Turkey, the Nautical Geo research vessel tried to enter Turkish Continental Shelf without permission. Upon this, it was questioned and warned by a ship belonging to the Turkish Navy,” the ministry mentioned.

“Following the vessel’s entry into the continental shelf without permission despite this, the research vessel was removed from the Turkish Continental Shelf,” it mentioned, including Turkey blocked the Nautical Geo’s work east of the island of Crete final week for a similar cause.

There was no quick touch upon the incident from Greek Cypriot authorities.

Turkey’s overseas ministry mentioned on Saturday “unilateral” steps by Greece and Greek Cypriots within the Mediterranean have been stoking pressure.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu
Editing by Daren Butler, Robert Birsel