Turkey continues its work in searching of oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean

Turkey continues its activities and surveys in searching for oil and gas deposits offshore eastern Mediterranean, a move that disturbs its neighbors, mainly Greece and Cyprus, which are members of the European Union.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez stated in a virtual conference that one of the Turkish exploration ships is carrying out seismic survies in certain areas in the eastern Mediterranean. These comments drew criticism from Greece, the European Union and the United States.

The Greek authorities see this step as a major escalation and a direct threat to peace and security in the region, while the US Foreign Ministry stated that the United States deplores Turkey’s announcement of its renewal of its survey activities in areas that Greece asserts its authority over in the eastern Mediterranean, and that the United States urges Turkey to End this deliberate provocation and immediately start talks to coordinate exploration operations with Greece. The Foreign Ministry said unilateral measures cannot build confidence and will not result in durable solutions.

Tension had erupted for months between Greece and Cyprus on the one hand and Turkey on the other hand, due to Turkey’s resumption of oil and gas exploration operations in the Mediterranean waters, which Greece and Cyprus consider part of their territorial waters. The escalation of tension has prompted the European Union to consider imposing possible sanctions on Turkey due to these exploratory operations.