rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Turkey Deploys Research Vessel in Aegean Sea Sparking Protests from Greece

Cesme vessel - Credit:Vladimir Knyaz/

Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou

Greece said on Thursday it had protested to Turkey over its deployment of a research vessel in the Aegean Sea, in what it called an "unnecessary" move as the NATO allies seek to resume talks over a long-standing maritime dispute.

An advisory issued by Turkey's navy this week showed the research vessel Cesme would be conducting a hydrographic survey from Feb. 18 until March 2 in an area of international waters where both sides have potential interests.

"It's an unnecessary move which does not help positive sentiment," government spokesman Christos Tarantilis told reporters. The foreign ministry has made a verbal complaint, government officials said.

Ankara considers the area to be in international waters, and the oceanographic research was unrelated to the dispute over continental shelves, Turkish diplomatic sources said.

They said the Cesme vessel would carry out the same kind of scientific surveys which Greece recently conducted in the area, which were permitted under a 1976 agreement between the two countries.

The Greek officials said that although the Cesme was operating in international waters, responsibility for issuing maritime advisories in that part of the Aegean fell to Greece.

After a five-year pause and months of tension over overlapping claims for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean last year, Greek and Turkish officials met in Ankara on Jan. 25 to discuss the delimitation of maritime zones.

The meeting in Istanbul ended after a few hours and the two countries, at odds over a number of decades-old issues including the extent of their continental shelves, have agreed to meet again in Athens.

Athens has sent an invitation to Ankara suggesting the talks resume in early March - ahead of a European leaders summit - and it is awaiting a response from Turkey, foreign ministry spokesman Alexandros Papaioannou told reporters.

Since 2002, the two countries have held dozens of rounds of talks to try to lay the groundwork for full negotiations over the issue. But obstacles remain, including what each side is willing to discuss. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou in Athens, Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Alison Williams).

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alison Williams)

Feb 18, 2021



Perfect Trips: Venezuela Ships Jet Fuel to Iran in Exchange for Gasoline

© Rutger Hofma /

Venezuela is shipping jet fuel to Iran in return for vital gasoline imports for the South American

Australia Cracking Down on Livestock Shipping

Barkly Pearl (Photo: AMSA)

Australian officials will implement a set of extra safety checks for livestock shipping after a

Lebanese Court Removes Investigator Who Charged Politicians Over Beirut Blast

© Anna Om / Adobe Stock

A Lebanese court on Thursday dismissed a judge who had charged top politicians with negligence


Autonomy: Inside the Building of Ocean Infinity’s Armada Fleet

Image Courtesy Ocean Infinity

Back in 2017, Ocean Infinity made a novel move; deploying six autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)

University of Vermont Orders Hybrid-electric Research Vessel

(Image: BAE Systems)

The University of Vermont has ordered a new research vessel featuring an emissions-reducing

Unmanned Vessel Launched to Survey Western Galveston Bay

The Sea Machines-enabled autonomous vessel Sigsbee conducts survey missions seven days per week, effectively doubling the conventional productivity. (Photo: DEA)

An unmanned vessel is now surveying more than 3,500 nautical miles of the Western Galveston Bay

Maritime Apps