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Erdogan cautions that Turkish drill ship did not end operations in east Mediterranean

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President Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a video call on Wednesday that the docking of Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel for maintenance does not mean its operations in the eastern Mediterranean are done, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Oruc Reis returned to waters near Turkey’s southern province of Antalya on Sunday for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions over offshore natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cavusoglu told an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk that Oruc Reis’ maintenance may take “a few weeks”, according to the energy ministry. “Once maintenance is finished, we will continue our operations with determination,” he said.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday he was concerned by Turkey’s move to extend the operation of its Yavuz energy drill ship in disputed Mediterranean waters.

“Turkey has a choice – engage with Europe in a constructive way or continue its unilateral actions and face consequences,” he said in an interview with the Economist.

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