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AA 18/10/18: Turkish navy blocks Greek interference in Mediterranean

Turkey calls on Greece to 'abstain from the acts that would cause an escalation in the region'.

A Greek frigate interfering in the activity of a Turkish research vessel working in the eastern Mediterranean has been blocked by the Turkish navy, military sources said Thursday.

Turkey's seismic and drilling vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa began conducting research activity on the Turkish continental shelf in the Mediterranean on Thursday morning, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said.

The activity, which had been announced by Turkish authorities, met with Greek interference in the early morning, the sources said.

A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry called on Greece to "abstain from the acts that would cause an escalation in the region".

The ministry said: "The statement issued yesterday by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs is completely baseless with respect to international law."

"The insistence of Greece on its unrealistic claims will only be counter-productive and harmful as regards bilateral relations and regional stability," it said.

"Turkey will continue to exercise its sovereign rights and jurisdiction stemming from international law over its continental shelf,” the statement said.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources around the area.

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