Tensions in the Mediterranean: Athens calls for an emergency EU meeting

A view of the research vessel "Oruc Reis", Wednesday July 22, 2020, off the city of Antalya, Turkey. Semih Ersozler / DHA via AP

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Greece on Tuesday called on the EU to hold an emergency meeting over Turkey, as tensions between the two neighboring countries escalate again in the eastern Mediterranean.


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With our correspondent in Athens, Joël Bronner

Bis repetita. As at the end of July, theseismic exploration vessel Oruç Reis , accompanied by military vessels , has returned to Greek territorial waters, again sparking anger and concern in Athens.

The main objective of this Turkish boat is to search for underwater gas. The discovery of hydrocarbon deposits , in particular off Cyprus, has aroused the envy of several countries of the Mediterranean basin for several years.

Since November 2019, tensions have revived on the subject between Athens and Ankara, after the signing of a controversial maritime border delimitation agreement between Turkey and Libya . An agreement intended to legitimize Turkish claims in the eastern Mediterranean.

The signing of yet another maritime delimitation agreement last week, this time between Greece and Egypt, provided a justification for the seemingly annoyed Turkey to return its vessel for gas.

More broadly, Turkish behavior calls into question the borders with Greece, inherited from the Treaty of Lausanne, almost a century ago. Borders in which Ankara today seems to feel cramped.

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