ANKARA (Turkey), October 26 (SeeNews) - Turkey's Oruc Reis vessel will continue searching for hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean until November 4, the country's office of navigation, hydrography and oceanography said, extending the deadline for exploration works of the ship by a week.
The Ataman and Cengiz Han vessels will accompany Oruc Reis in its operations, the office of navigation said on Saturday in a notice to vessels in an area in the eastern Mediterranean disputed by Turkey and Greece.
Tensions between Ankara and Athens heightened after Turkey sent the Oruc Reis to conduct a seismic survey in search for natural gas close to the Greek island of Kastellorizo. Turkey argues that Kastellorizo and several other Greek islands are located on the Turkish continental shelf, implying that distances of a country's continental shelf should be measured from the continental mainland. Greece claims that all islands must be taken into account on an equal basis in the calculation of maritime boundaries.
Oruc Reis in September sailed back home, easing tensions between the two countries. Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said soon afterwards that Greece would shortly restart talks on maritime zones with Turkey.
However, Turkey again deployed the Oruc Reis in the disputed area to continue the seismic survey earlier this month.