Turkey Expects Dialogue From Greece After Drilling Ship Leaves Disputed Waters

ANKARA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th September, 2020) Ankara expects Greece to resume dialogue after a Turkish drilling vessel left the contested area in the Eastern Mediterranean, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday.

"Oruc Reis is back in Antalya's dock. I hope the Greek side will use this as an opportunity to advance the talks and be able to resume the exploratory talks soon, and this will be hopefully reflected positively at the EU summit on September 24-25," Kalin said in a virtual talk with the think tank European Council on Foreign Relations.

He added that Ankara wants to see a new page turn in relations with both Greece and the European Union.

Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean have been brewing for many months around Turkey's gas exploration. The situation was exacerbated this summer, as Turkey sent the Oruc Reis ship, accompanied by a fleet of military vessels, to drill in what Greece considers its continental shelf.

On Sunday, Oruc Reis was reported to have left the disputed area for its base near Antalya. It came after several EU nations threatened Turkey with sanctions unless dialogue with Greece resumes.