Greece urges Turkey to stop “illegal actions” in the eastern Mediterranean and vows to defend its sovereign rights

The Greek Foreign Ministry announced that Athens urged Turkey, on Monday, to stop illegal actions in the eastern Mediterranean, and that these activities are provocative and undermine peace and security in the region.

The Greek foreign ministry statement said: “Greece will not accept extortion.

It will defend its sovereign rights” according to Reuters.

On Monday, Turkey rejected Greece’s objections to its drilling operations in a disputed area in the eastern Mediterranean, and said it would continue operations there.

The Foreign Ministry said that the Turkish military presence in the region does not aim to escalate tension, but rather is only for defensive purposes if the need arises.

On Monday, the Turkish Navy issued a navigational notification saying that the Turkish vessel “Aruj Reis” will conduct seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean during the next two weeks.

Reuters reported that this step is likely to renew tension with Greece, which is a member like it in NATO, “noting that the two countries are at odds over the overlapping demands of oil and gas resources in the region.

Turkey also announced a “maritime warning” to mark the start of the “Aruj Reis” research and exploration operations in the Mediterranean until 23 August, according to the Turkish “TRT” channel.

For his part, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced, on Monday, that the Turkish military presence in the Mediterranean region “does not aim to escalate tension there, but rather is for self-defense if necessary”.

In a statement published by the official Turkish Anadolu news agency, the ministry said that those who act in accordance with the concept of “I am the only owner of the Mediterranean” will be disappointed.

The Statement added that Ankara has “the ability and capabilities to defeat the alliance of evil formed against it in the Mediterranean”.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Turkey has resumed energy exploration work in the region because Greece has not fulfilled its promises on this issue”.