The Mediterranean has experienced record sea temperatures this summer: this could devastate marine life

The Mediterranean has experienced record sea temperatures this summer: this could devastate marine life

by - John Spicer Professor of Marine Zoology, University of Plymouth - The Conversation The ocean sustains all life on our planet. It provides food to eat and oxygen to breathe, while playing a key role in moderating our climate. But marine life is increasingly threatened by climate change. The ocean is becoming considerably warmer, affecting its ability to sustain life. The searing temperatures seen around the Mediterranean this year are indicative of rising global temperatures. This is set to continue over the next century, contingent on how much CO₂ we continue to emit. The International Energy Agency reported that…
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UPDATED: France, Spain, Portugal battle wildfires amid intense heat

UPDATED: France, Spain, Portugal battle wildfires amid intense heat

LISBON, July 17 (Reuters) - Authorities across southern Europe battled on Sunday to control huge wildfires in countries including Spain, Greece and France, where thousands of people have been evacuated in soaring temperatures. In Spain, helicopters dropped water on the flames as searing heat and often mountainous terrain made the job harder for firefighters. National weather agency AEMET issued high temperature warnings for Sunday, with highs of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) forecast in Aragon, Navarra and La Rioja, in the north. It said the heatwave would end on Monday, but warned temperatures would remain "abnormally high". Spain has been experiencing a nearly…
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Unesco warns to prepare for Mediterranean tsunami

Unesco warns to prepare for Mediterranean tsunami

A tsunami could soon hit major cities on or near the Mediterranean Sea including Marseille, Alexandria and Istanbul, with a nearly 100% chance of a wave reaching more than a metre high in the next 30 years, according to Unesco. The risk of a tsunami in Mediterranean coastal communities is predicted to soar as sea levels rise. While communities in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, where most tsunamis occur, were often aware of the dangers, it was underestimated in other coastal regions, including the Mediterranean, Unesco said. Now, the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organisation said five at-risk communities in…
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Ship fuel suppliers stop serving Russian vessels in the Mediterranean, Malta not allowing any Russian ships to come to its ports

Ship fuel suppliers stop serving Russian vessels in the Mediterranean, Malta not allowing any Russian ships to come to its ports

Marine fuel sellers have stopped serving vessels flying the Russian flag at major European hubs including Spain and Malta in another blow to Moscow's exports, five industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Losing access to refuelling points in the Mediterranean Sea poses major logistical problems for Russian oil tankers going from Baltic ports to Asia and also creates safety concerns over potentially being stuck at sea with flammable cargoes, shipping sources say. Russia is reeling from a wave of severe economic sanctions on its banks and oligarchs and foreign companies are cutting ties after Moscow's invasion of…
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Photo Story: NATO’s maritime exercise Neptune Strike 22 in the Mediterranean Sea

Photo Story: NATO’s maritime exercise Neptune Strike 22 in the Mediterranean Sea

A handout photo made available by US Navy shows aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 Italian Navy flying over the ships from Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2, the Italian Navy Cavour-class aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), the Andrea Doria-class air defense destroyer ITS Andrea Doria (D 553), and the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) while transiting the Adriatic Sea in support of Neptune Strike 22 (NS22). The exercise, that ended this weekend, was designed to integrate the high-end maritime strike capabilities of…
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Photo Story: Satellite image of Mediterranean cyclone Apollo

Photo Story: Satellite image of Mediterranean cyclone Apollo

A handout satellite image made available by Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, shows Mediterranean cyclone Apollo in the Ionian Sea, 28 October 2021 (issued 29 October 2021). On 28 October, Apollo was forming to the south of Sicily, Italy with winds of over 100kph blowing around its centre. Forecasts predict that Apollo will bring torrential rains to eastern Sicily. This has caused the Italian Civil Protection to issue a red alert, the highest possible level. Extreme weather earlier this week claimed three lives and caused widespread devastation on the Italian island.The Siracusa area has already been hit by…
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Italy’s ‘Smart Bay’ seeks to tackle Mediterranean climate change

Italy’s ‘Smart Bay’ seeks to tackle Mediterranean climate change

On Italy's Ligurian coast, biologists and environmentalists are working to tackle the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean with help from a so-called "Smart Bay". Marine biologists fear the Mediterranean is becoming hotter and more acidic, which would affect the habitat of many native species and also lead to violent changes in weather systems such as more frequent tornadoes.     The Santa Teresa Smart Bay, in an area on the northwestern coast noted for tourism and diving, is Italy's first underwater "living" laboratory where scientists use aquatic invertebrate animals known as bryozoans and other organisms as live sensors. Researchers from the Italian National…
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Thousands flee Greece blazes as wildfires sweep through Mediterranean

Thousands flee Greece blazes as wildfires sweep through Mediterranean

Thousands of people fled their homes on the outskirts of Athens on Friday and hundreds were evacuated by boat from the nearby island of Evia as Greece faced a fourth day of wildfires fuelled by strong winds and searing temperatures. Like elsewhere in Europe, Greece has been grappling with extreme weather this summer and a protracted heatwave - its worst in 30 years - has sparked simultaneous wildfires in several parts of the country. In neighbouring Turkey, authorities are battling the country's worst ever wildfires, which forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people including tourists and briefly threatened…
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Turkish company applies to explore for oil in east Mediterranean

Turkish company applies to explore for oil in east Mediterranean

Turkey's state-owned energy company TPAO has applied for a licence to explore for crude oil in the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Energy Ministry said in a statement in the country's Official Gazette on Friday. According to a Turkish map database, the three areas where TPAO plans to carry out the exploration are in Turkish territorial waters off the coast of Silifke in Mersin province. President Tayyip Erdogan said last week Turkey would carry on exploring for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean in comments that may revive tensions with the European Union and Greece amid attempts to repair their…
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Russia launches Mediterranean drills

Russia launches Mediterranean drills

The Russian military on Friday launched sweeping maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea featuring warplanes armed with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles, a show of force amid a surge in tensions following an incident with a British destroyer in the Black Sea. Moscow said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs in the path of British destroyer Defender on Wednesday to force her out of an area near Crimea that Russia claims as its territorial waters. Britain denied that account, insisted its ship wasn’t fired upon and said she was sailing in Ukrainian waters. The Russian drills that…
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41 died by drowning in the Mediterranean’s latest migrant tragedy

41 died by drowning in the Mediterranean’s latest migrant tragedy

(CDeNews) - The UNHCR team and IOM team in Porto Empedocle confirmed that they have verified the accurate testimonies about a shipwreck that took place on Saturday 20 February in the Central Mediterranean which led to the death by drowning of at least 41 people. According to a statement the IOM and UNHCR said that 120 people were on a rubber dinghy that left Libya on Thursday 18 February. On this dinghy there were 6 women, one of whom was pregnant, and 4 children. After about 15 hours water started to seep in the boat and the people on board…
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Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters to Oct. 27

Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters to Oct. 27

Turkey announced it extended the stay of its Oruc Reis survey vessel and two other ships in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until Oct. 27, in a move likely to further escalate tensions in the region. Two other vessels, the Ataman and Cengiz Han along with Oruc Reis will continue work in an area southeast of the Greek island of Rhodes until Oct. 27, Turkey’s Navy said in a maritime notice. The vessels had previously been scheduled to work until Oct. 22. NATO members Turkey and Greece are at odds over conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the…
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Greece, France in strong reaction after Turkey carries out seismic surveys in Mediterranean

Greece, France in strong reaction after Turkey carries out seismic surveys in Mediterranean

Greece and France reacted angrily to a decision by the Turkish Government to send a ship to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for European Union sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights. France expressed its concern after the Turkish vessel, the Oruc Reis, began its voyage. It said Turkey must stick to commitments it has made in the dispute, refrain from provocative actions and show good faith. Greece's foreign ministry described the new voyage as a "major escalation" and a "direct threat to peace in the region". Turkey,…
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Turkish official says Ankara unswayed over EU sanctions on Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish official says Ankara unswayed over EU sanctions on Eastern Mediterranean

Turkey would be even more determined to protect its territorial rights in the Eastern Mediterranean if the European Union ultimately decides to impose sanctions on it over offshore oil and gas exploration, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. The senior official, who requested anonymity, said sanctions would not deter Turkey and suggested they could imperil dialogue planned between Ankara and Athens over disputed maritime boundaries and oil and gas rights. The warning came as EU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock early on Friday and assured bloc member Cyprus it would punish Turkey if it continued operations in disputed waters. Sanctions…
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East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum

East Mediterranean states formally establish Egypt-based gas forum

Six states signed a charter for an Egypt-based energy forum on Tuesday, giving formal status to a group that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the eastern Mediterranean and that Israel hopes will strengthen ties with Arab neighbours. Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) as an intergovernmental organisation in a virtual ceremony hosted by Cairo. The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region. The Palestinian Authority is also part of…
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Erdogan cautions that Turkish drill ship did not end operations in east Mediterranean

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

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…
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43,000 people crossed Mediterranean in 2020- MOAS

43,000 people crossed Mediterranean in 2020- MOAS

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) has published statistics showing the number of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean for the past two weeks. Between the September 1 and September 15, 1,090 people tried to cross the Mediterranean. Italy received 1,056 people while Greece received 34. Over 43,000 people have already attempted to make the dangerous crossing. 268 of these people have died or are missing, MOAS added. The organisation said that the Mediterranean continues to be one of the most deadly border regions in the world. The numbers highlight the need for safe and legal migration routes, MOAS added
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Turkey says EU Mediterranean statement biased, open to talks with Greece

Turkey says EU Mediterranean statement biased, open to talks with Greece

Turkey slammed a statement by European Union Mediterranean states on Friday, saying the comments were biased and "detached from reality", but added Ankara was still open to unconditional talks with Greece. NATO members Turkey and Greece have overlapping claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. In a joint statement on Thursday, the seven EU Mediterranean states said the bloc will draw up a list of new sanctions on Turkey at the end of September unless Ankara negotiates to resolve the dispute with Greece and Cyprus. Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said in…
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EU’s Mediterranean states tell Turkey: resume talks this month or risk sanctions

EU’s Mediterranean states tell Turkey: resume talks this month or risk sanctions

The European Union will draw up a list of new sanctions on Turkey at the end of September unless Ankara comes to the negotiating table to resolve a territorial dispute with Greece and Cyprus, the EU’s Mediterranean states said on Thursday. Tensions flared between the EU and NATO member Turkey after Ankara sent a survey vessel to map out possible oil and gas drilling prospects in territorial waters claimed by Greece and areas claimed by Cyprus. The seven EU members with Mediterranean coastlines gathered for a summit in Corsica, France, said in a joint communique they reiterated their “full support…
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France today hosts Mediterranean leaders’ summit

France today hosts Mediterranean leaders’ summit

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday hosts leaders from Mediterranean states for a summit set to be dominated by growing tensions between Turkey and EU states in the east of the sea. The EuroMed 7 is an informal group of seven EU Mediterranean states, sometimes dubbed "Club Med", that held its first summit in 2016 and notably does not include Turkey. But the meeting on the French island of Corsica will bring together leaders of France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain with eastern Mediterranean EU members Greece and Cyprus. France has strongly backed Greece and Cyprus in a growing standoff…
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Turkey’s Erdogan says East Mediterranean is test of EU’s sincerity

Turkey’s Erdogan says East Mediterranean is test of EU’s sincerity

President Tayyip Erdogan told European Council President Charles Michel on Sunday the EU's stance towards the East Mediterranean would be a test of its sincerity, calling on it to take an impartial stance in Turkey's row with Greece. NATO allies Turkey and Greece have been locked in a dispute over hydrocarbon exploration in the sea's disputed waters and the extent of their continental shelves. Provocative comments and steps by European politicians on regional matters would not help achieve a solution, Erdogan was cited as saying by his office. "President Erdogan said the attitude shown by the EU in the Eastern…
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EU foreign policy chief in Libya to insist on peace talks

EU foreign policy chief in Libya to insist on peace talks

The EU's High Representative Josep Borrell was in Libya yesterday to resume political dialogue in an effort to end conflict in the country. He met with the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiez Serraj and with the President of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh in Al Qubah in eastern Libya. Libya remained a priority for the EU, Borrell said, adding that the EU would continue to seek an inclusive Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political resolution. The EU wanted Libya to retain its territorial integrity, sovereignty and national unity. Borell's visit took place jus two week after…
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Banksy’s migrant rescue boat says overloaded, stranded at sea off coast of Libya

Banksy’s migrant rescue boat says overloaded, stranded at sea off coast of Libya

A rescue boat funded by British street artist Banksy has issued urgent calls for help, saying it is stranded in the Mediterranean and overloaded with migrants who it has been unable to bring ashore. The Louise Michel, named after a French feminist anarchist, started operating last week. It is trying to find a safe port for the 219 migrants it has picked up off the coast of Libya since Thursday. The boat, manned by a crew of 10, issued a series of tweets overnight and on Saturday saying its situation was worsening, and appealing in vain for help from authorities…
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Turkey to hold military exercise off Cyprus amid Mediterranean tensions

Turkey to hold military exercise off Cyprus amid Mediterranean tensions

Turkey said it will hold a military exercise off northwest Cyprus for the next two weeks, amid growing tension with Greece over disputed claims to exploration rights in the east Mediterranean. The long-running dispute between Turkey and Greece, both NATO members, flared up after the two countries agreed rival accords on their maritime boundaries with Libya and Egypt, and Turkey sent a survey vessel into contested waters this month. Both sides have held military exercises in the east Mediterranean, highlighting the potential for the dispute over the extent of their continental shelves to escalate into confrontation. Two weeks ago Greek…
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Macron says he set red lines with Turkey in eastern Mediterranean

Macron says he set red lines with Turkey in eastern Mediterranean

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he had taken a tough stance over the summer with regard to Turkey's actions in the eastern Mediterranean, setting red lines because Ankara respects actions not words. Relations between France and Turkey have soured in recent months over Ankara's role in NATO, Libya and the Mediterranean. Macron has called for the EU to show solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute over natural gas reserves off Cyprus and the extent of their continental shelves and has pushed for further sanctions at EU level, although there are divisions in the bloc over…
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Turkey to hold military drills in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey to hold military drills in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey said on Thursday it will hold firing exercises in the eastern Mediterranean on Sept 1-2, the latest in a series of military drills which have fuelled tensions with Greece. The two NATO states have been locked in a bitter dispute over control of eastern Mediterranean waters which escalated after Ankara sent a seismic survey vessel to the disputed region this month in a move which Athens called illegal. They are at odds over claims to potential hydrocarbon resources based on conflicting views about the extent of their continental shelves in waters dotted with mostly Greek islands. The Turkish navy…
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Erdogan says Turkey to get rights in seas around it

Erdogan says Turkey to get rights in seas around it

Turkey is determined to do whatever is necessary to obtain its rights in the Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday. Speaking at an event commemorating the 11th century military victory by Seljuk Turks over the Byzantine empire at Malazgirt, Erdogan also called on Ankara's counterparts to avoid mistakes that he said would bring their destruction. "We will not compromise what is ours... We are determined to do whatever is necessary," Erdogan said. Earlier, Germany's top diplomat said after whirlwind meetings in Turkey and Greece on Tuesday the two were ready for dialogue to defuse an…
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Germany says Turkey, Greece ready for dialogue on East Mediterranean dispute

Germany says Turkey, Greece ready for dialogue on East Mediterranean dispute

Germany’s top diplomat said after whirlwind meetings in Turkey and Greece on Tuesday the two were ready for dialogue to defuse an worsening dispute over energy resources in the Mediterranean, even as the NATO allies traded new barbs. Turkey and Greece vehemently disagree over natural gas reserves off Cyprus and the extent of their continental shelves. They have drawn the European Union and nearby countries into the dispute, which earlier this month flared into a light collision between Turkish and Greek frigates. On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey both said they wanted to solve the issue through…
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Turkey extends work of Mediterranean exploration ship through August 27

Turkey extends work of Mediterranean exploration ship through August 27

Turkey announced that its Oruc Reis exploration vessel will now carry out seismic surveys in a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean until Aug. 27, in a move likely to stoke tensions in the region. Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, vehemently disagree over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in waters dotted with mostly Greek islands. Earlier this month, Turkey said the Oruc Reis would conduct seismic exploration until Aug. 23 in waters claimed by Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Athens has called the survey illegal. On Sunday, the…
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Greece to ratify sea accord with Egypt on Aug. 26

Greece to ratify sea accord with Egypt on Aug. 26

Greece plans to ratify an accord on maritime boundaries with Egypt next week, its government said on Thursday, referring to a deal which has angered Turkey and highlighted overlapping claims over the east Mediterranean. Egypt and Greece sealed the accord defining maritime zones on Aug 6. It was ratified by Egypt's parliament on Aug. 18, and Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said it was being submitted to the Greek parliament with a view to it being ratified on Aug. 26. Yet Turkey has said the pact infringes its own continental shelf and has dispatched a survey vessel to an area…
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Merkel, Macron agree to coordinate more on coronavirus travel restrictions

Merkel, Macron agree to coordinate more on coronavirus travel restrictions

Germany's Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Thursday to coordinate more closely on travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, the chancellor said after bilateral talks on Thursday. "We agreed we will work much more closely with each other so we give people the feeling that similar things are being done in the Schengen area," Merkel told reporters in France. "At the moment even in Germany it is a big problem that the rules are different from state to state and people don't understand," she said, adding that while she wanted to avoid closing borders again, countries had…
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Erdogan says no threats can deter Turkey’s operations in Mediterranean

Erdogan says no threats can deter Turkey’s operations in Mediterranean

No threats can deter Turkey from seeking natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, President Tayyip Erdogan warned, adding that Ankara expects actors in the region to take steps to de-escalate tensions. Greece and Cyprus are locked in a dispute with Turkey over overlapping claims to areas potentially rich in resources. Two Turkish survey vessels are in areas claimed by the three countries. On Tuesday, Cyprus said it was willing to engage with all its neighbours on defining maritime boundaries. "Turkey is determined to seek its rights in the eastern Mediterranean until the end," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.…
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Cyprus says willing to engage on defining maritime zones

Cyprus says willing to engage on defining maritime zones

Cyprus said it was willing to engage with all its neighbours on defining maritime boundaries, amid a tense stand-off with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean over jurisdiction in the energy-rich waters. Greece and Cyprus are locked in a dispute with Turkey over overlapping claims to areas thought to be rich in natural gas. Two Turkish survey vessels are in areas claimed by Greece and Cyprus. Turkey says it has rights over the areas in question. While not referring to Turkey directly, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said the island had maritime deals with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon "and was ready…
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Turkey’s Erdogan says only solution in Mediterranean is dialogue

Turkey’s Erdogan says only solution in Mediterranean is dialogue

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the only solution to Turkey's dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean was through dialogue and negotiation, and Ankara was not chasing any "adventures" in the region. Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, are vehemently at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region, and tensions have risen since Ankara launched exploration operations in a disputed area of the Mediterranean on Monday, in a move Greece called illegal. Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said the escalation of tensions in the region was caused by Greece,…
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France sends two fighter jets, frigate to eastern Mediterranean, Greece in joint manoeuvres with France

France sends two fighter jets, frigate to eastern Mediterranean, Greece in joint manoeuvres with France

France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate ‘Lafayette’ to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region, the armed forces ministry said on Thursday, amid signs of tension with Turkey. Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in the disputed waters in that area, which has resulted in heightened tensions with Greece. See also: France to bolster Mediterranean military presence Menawhile, the French military conducted training exercises with Greek forces off the southern island of Crete on Thursday, defence sources…
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France to bolster Mediterranean military presence

France to bolster Mediterranean military presence

France will increase its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, calling on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters that has heightened tensions with Greece. The French leader voiced concern over “unilateral” exploration by Turkey in a call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Macron’s office said in a statement. It added that prospecting should “cease in order to allow a peaceful dialogue” between the neighbouring NATO members. The standoff deepened this week with the arrival of Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis in a disputed area of the Mediterranean, accompanied…
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Greece, US foreign ministers to meet over Eastern Mediterranean tensions

Greece, US foreign ministers to meet over Eastern Mediterranean tensions

The foreign ministers of Greece and the United States will meet in Vienna on Friday to discuss tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek foreign ministry said, amid a dispute between Athens and Ankara over hydrocarbon resources. The meeting between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes days after Turkey dispatched the seismic survey vessel Oruc Reis to an area of sea claimed by both nations, saying it will operate there until Aug. 23. Turkey has said it plans to issue gas exploration and drilling licences in the region, somewhere between the Greek island…
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Turkey to conduct seismic survey in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey to conduct seismic survey in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey's navy has issued an advisory saying that the Turkish ship Oruc Reis will carry out a seismic survey in the eastern Mediterranean over the next two weeks, a step likely to revive tensions with NATO ally Greece. The two countries are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region. A similar advisory, or Navtex, last month caused a row which was calmed after the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey had resumed energy exploration work in the region as Greece had not kept its promises on the issue.…
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Egypt and Greece sign agreement on exclusive economic zone

Egypt and Greece sign agreement on exclusive economic zone

Egypt and Greece signed an agreement on Thursday designating an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the two countries, an area containing promising oil and gas reserves, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said. Shoukry made the announcement at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Cairo. "This agreement allows both countries to move forward in maximizing the utilization of the resources available in the exclusive economic zone, especially promising oil and gas reserves," Shoukry said. In Greece, diplomats said the deal effectively nullified an accord between Turkey and the internationally recognised government of Libya.…
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German frigate ‘Hamburg’ leaves for the Mediterranean to participate in Operation Irini

German frigate ‘Hamburg’ leaves for the Mediterranean to participate in Operation Irini

A navy officer watches as the frigate F220 'Hamburg' of the German Navy (Bundesmarine) leaves the port of Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany, on Tuesday 04 August 2020. The vessel of the 'Sachsen' class takes part in the operation EUNAVFOR MED 'Irini' of the European Union in the Mediterranean to enforce the arms embargo against Libya. Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the crew will stay for 136 days aboard.   Via EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN
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France’s Macron wants sanctions over violations in Greek and Cypriot maritime space

France’s Macron wants sanctions over violations in Greek and Cypriot maritime space

France's president on Thursday said it would be a serious error by the European Union to not respond to provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and said he wanted more sanctions on those who violated Greek and Cypriot maritime space. Emmanuel Macron's comments come after Turkey's navy on Tuesday issued an advisory for seismic surveys in an area of sea between Cyprus and Crete, a move Greece said was an attempt by Ankara to encroach on its continental shelf. "In this part of the Mediterranean, which is vital for our two countries, energy and security issues are essential. What's at stake…
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Turkey rejects Greek claim over Mediterranean seismic survey

Turkey rejects Greek claim over Mediterranean seismic survey

The eastern Mediterranean region where a Turkish ship will carry out a seismic survey is part of Turkey's continental shelf, Ankara said on Wednesday, rejecting Greece's accusation that the ship is encroaching on its own shelf. Long-standing tensions between the NATO allies escalated after Turkey's navy on Tuesday issued an advisory known as a Navtex for seismic surveys in waters between Cyprus and Crete. Athens and Ankara are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources, brought into sharper focus by attempts of EU member Cyprus to also explore for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite strong Turkish objections.…
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Greece calls for sanctions against Turkey over disputed gas explorations

Greece calls for sanctions against Turkey over disputed gas explorations

Greece said  there should be no alternative but European Union sanctions against Turkey if Ankara does not back down on disputed attempts to explore for natural resources in the Mediterranean. Turkey and Greece are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources, brought into sharper focus by attempts of EU member Cyprus to also explore for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean amid strong Turkish objections. A navigational advisory known as a Navtex was issued by Turkey's navy on Tuesday for seismic survey work in an area apparently south of Turkey's Antalya and lying between Cyprus and Crete. The advisory…
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Charity boats resume Mediterranean migrant rescue

Charity boats resume Mediterranean migrant rescue

Two charity boats have headed back to the Mediterranean after a two-month hiatus in migrant rescue operations, as humanitarian groups await a new wave of arrivals. Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans said on Tuesday night that its chartered boat, Mare Jonio, had left the Sicilian port of Trapani to patrol the central Mediterranean on its eighth mission. It joins the Sea Watch 3, operated by Germany's Sea Watch, which left Messina in Sicily on Monday. "Mediterranea is finally back at sea to monitor and denounce the human rights violations that are constantly taking place in the central Mediterranean," the charity…
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Bodies of twenty lifeless persons recovered after latest migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea

Bodies of twenty lifeless persons recovered after latest migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea

The bodies of 20 persons were recovered on Wednesday following the sinking of a fishing boat carrying irregular migrants. A search is underway for 30 others who are believed to have set off for Italy last Thursday night. According to Tunisian coast guard officials on Tuesday recovered the bodies of 20 people they said were migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who had drowned after a shipwreck off the country's east coast. Mourad Tourki, a spokesman for the court in the coastal city of Sfax, said an investigation was underway into the incident, which happened off the Kerkennah Islands. 'The death toll…
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Alarm at Covid-linked Mediterranean pollution

Alarm at Covid-linked Mediterranean pollution

Video shot by a French environmental NGO in the Mediterranean Sea shows masks and gloves littering the seabed. Opération mer propre (Operation clean sea) is trying to clean up the coast near the Côte d'Azur resort of Antibes. It is appalled by this new coronavirus pollution, which adds to the already chronic problem of plastic pollution. https://www.facebook.com/100008174533123/videos/2676843079264817/?t=1 The group says it is sounding the alarm, as Europe slowly emerges from lockdown and people start revisiting beaches in the hot weather. The group's founder, Laurent Lombard, who shot the underwater footage, said"these masks - we haven't had them for long, and…
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5.8 magnitude earthquake registered in the Central Mediterranean Sea (UPDATE)

5.8 magnitude earthquake registered in the Central Mediterranean Sea (UPDATE)

5.7 magnitude earthquake was registered in the Mediterranean Sea, 224 km SW of Methoni, Greece . The earthquake was registered at 23:43 UTC Time (01.43 Malta Time). The earthquake hypo central depth was marked at various different (10 - 20 km depth). The earthquake was also registered in Malta' Seismic Research Centre. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) marked it to be at 10km.  The location of the earthquake was established as follows: 439 km SW of Athens, Greece / pop: 730,000 / local time: 02:43:15.9 2020-05-21 305 km NW of Al Bayḑā’, Libya / pop: 207,000 / local time: 01:43:15.9 2020-05-21…
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Fears mount over migrants dying ‘out of sight’ in Mediterranean

Fears mount over migrants dying ‘out of sight’ in Mediterranean

More and more migrants are crossing, Europe is closing its ports and no humanitarian ships are carrying out rescues. As the coronavirus pandemic dominates headlines, activists fear the Mediterranean is the scene of an overlooked "tragedy". A handful of migrant landings have taken place in recent weeks, including 79 people who arrived last weekend in Italy -- a country under fire even before the outbreak for refusing to allow private vessels carrying migrants to dock. International organisations and NGOs say the situation is bleak, as all rescue operations were ceased as of last week. "If there is no help at…
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Russian pilots intercept US Navy aircraft over Mediterranean

Russian pilots intercept US Navy aircraft over Mediterranean

Russian pilots intercepted a US Navy aircraft in an "unsafe and unprofessional manner" on Sunday for the second time within four days, claimed the US Naval Forces Sixth Fleet. A US Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in the Sixth Fleet was flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea when it was intercepted twice by a Russian SU-35 within two hours. The first intercept was considered safe and professional, according to the Navy statement, but the second intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to a high-speed, high-powered manoeuvre by the Russian aircraft that brought the…
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4.3 magnitude earthquake in Israel

4.3 magnitude earthquake in Israel

    A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was felt in the Eilat area in southern Israel on Sunday morning. So far there is no information as of yet on injuries or damage.   Via Jerusalem Post/The Geological Survey of Israel
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US Carrier Strike Group in the Mediterranean

US Carrier Strike Group in the Mediterranean

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crossed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The ship reportedly has an escort of several other US Navy warships, including the USS San Jacinto and USS Vella Gulf Tomahawk-armed guided-missile cruisers, as well as a destroyer squadron consisting of the USS Stout, USS James E. Williams and USS Truxton destroyers. The US Navy issued a press statement about the Eisenhower’s operations, saying that the strike group was “conducting operations in the US 6th Fleet to support maritime security operations in international waters, alongside our allies and partners.” The…
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Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean seek safe ports

Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean seek safe ports

Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by two boats run by aid agencies were looking for safe ports in Malta and Italy, the groups said Monday. The Ocean Viking, a rescue vessel run by SOS Mediterranee in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was carrying 407 people rescued in a total of five operations carried out over 72 hours. Another 78 people were taken on board the Alan Kurdi, run by the Sea-Eye organisation based in Germany. They were rescued in two operations. https://twitter.com/MSF_Sea/status/1221625412222160896 Sea-Eye tweeted Sunday that the Alan Kurdi was headed for Italy after Malta refused them…
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Experts say Mediterranean Sea altered by Suez Canal’s invasive species

Experts say Mediterranean Sea altered by Suez Canal’s invasive species

As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. The influx has increased significantly since Egypt doubled its capacity in 2015 with the opening of the “The New Suez Canal,” raising alarm in Europe and sparking criticism from various countries along the Mediterranean basin. The sharpest criticism comes from neighboring Israel, which once battled Egypt in war alongside the 193-kilometer (120-mile)-long canal. Bella Galil, an Israeli marine biologist who has…
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US expected to intervene in easing tension in East Mediterranean

US expected to intervene in easing tension in East Mediterranean

The United States will be assuming an active role in easing tensions created by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, particularly following its maritime borders and defense agreements with Libya's Tripoli-based government, sources told Kathimerini in the wake of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday. According to the sources, Mitsotakis managed to fully convey Athens' concerns regarding Ankara's recent moves and to explain the possible repercussions of any further challenges to Greece's sovereign rights, especially over the Greek islands. The Greek prime minister is also said to have urged Trump,…
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Irregular migration to EU at lowest level since 2013

Irregular migration to EU at lowest level since 2013

Irregular migration into the European Union has fallen to its lowest annual level since 2013, the European border and coast guard agency has said, despite a significant increase in the number of arrivals to Greece. Overall, Afghans were the main nationality of newly arrived irregular migrants in 2019, representing almost a quarter of all arrivals. The number of Afghan migrants was nearly three times (+167%) the figure from the previous year. Roughly four out of five were registered on the Eastern Mediterranean route, while nearly all the rest on the Western Balkan route. The most recent available data also suggest…
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Almost 1,300 migrants drowned in Mediterranean in 2019 – IOM

Almost 1,300 migrants drowned in Mediterranean in 2019 – IOM

Almost 1,300 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean in 2019, the International Organization for Migration announced. The 1,282 drownings were 44% down on 2018, it said. The number of deaths since 2014 was now 19,164, the IOM said. On the most dangerous route, between Libya and Italy, one migrant in 33 drowned last year compared to a one in five ratio in 2017, the IOM experts said. The number of migrants who came to Europe by sea in 2019 was 110,669, 5% down on the previous year. So, while the number of migrant deaths recorded in the Mediterranean is down in…
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Threat of Mediterranean war grows as Turkey renews military pledge to Libya

Threat of Mediterranean war grows as Turkey renews military pledge to Libya

The threat of a military clash in the Mediterranean has drawn nearer following talks in which Turkey has underlined its willingness to send troops to Libya to defend the country’s UN-recognised government. The government of national accord in Tripoli, or GNA, is facing what is billed as a decisive assault by General Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libyan military warlord. Turkey, already at loggerheads with the US Congress and EU on multiple fronts, last week signed a military co-operation agreement with GNA that enables it to request troops from Turkey. The agreement, sent to the Turkish parliament on Saturday, provides for…
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Libya has not yet requested Turkey to send troops – Foreign Minister Cavusoglu

Libya has not yet requested Turkey to send troops – Foreign Minister Cavusoglu

Turkey will resolutely continue defending its legitimate rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday. Cavusoglu met UN-recognized Libya's Government of National Accord head Fayez al-Sarraj in the capital Doha. Libya has not made a request to Turkey for sending troops to back forces of the internationally-recognized government battling Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA), Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday, Reuters reports. “No, not yet” Cavusoglu said when asked at the Doha Forum if such a request had been made. After the meeting, Cavusoglu announced in a tweet that the memorandum of understanding…
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