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Turkey extends seismic survey work in disputed Mediterranean area to November 29

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Turkey said it was extending the seismic survey work of its Oruc Reis ship in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until Nov. 29, in a move that could add to tensions in the region.

NATO members Turkey and Greece are locked in a dispute over the extent of their continental shelves and conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

The row erupted in August when Turkey sent Oruc Reis into waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

Along with two other ships, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, Oruc Reis will continue work in an area west of Cyprus, a Turkish naval maritime notice said on Saturday.

Turkish police walk in front of the Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz at Dilovasi port in city of Kocaeli, Turkey, 20 June 2019. Turkey’s second drilling ship will operate off the Karpas Peninsula to the northeast of the island of Cyprus. Yavuz will be determined by geology and geophysics studies of the vessel and it will take place at a depth of approximately 1,000 meters on the seabed and some 3,000 meters of drilling will be made, Bilgin said, adding that the ship will move to its second location once the first drill is completed.

EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN

Ankara pulled the vessel out in September to allow for diplomacy with Greece, but then sent it back to the area, prompting an angry reaction from Greece, France and Germany.

The ship had been expected to finish its work by Nov. 23.

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