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Turkey responds to Greek complaints over research ship in Aegean

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23 March 2012, Friday /TODAYSZAMAN.COM
Turkey responded on Friday to Greek complaints over a research ship in the Aegean Sea, saying Ankara is not required to receive permission from Athens as the ship is only carrying out scientific research.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that the Turkish research ship Piri Reis has entered an area of the Greek continental shelf in the Aegean Sea and that it will formally complain to the Turkish government. Greece claims that Turkey should have informed Athens about the ship, saying even though the area is outside Greek territorial waters, it has rights to potential undersea mineral and fossil deposits.

But, in a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry countered this claim, saying academic naval research can be carried out freely in the international waters of the Aegean without coastal states having to request permission from each other.

Turkey added that continental shelf boundaries in the Aegean have not yet been determined and that a moratorium on exploration for oil and gas outside of territorial waters -- imposed by a 1976 deal -- is still in place. But academic research not covered in the 1976 deal may be carried out freely, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry statement.

The ministry also said the Piri Reis is conducting biological and oceanographic research that has nothing to do with gas or oil exploration. The Turkish university that is in charge of the study is also willing to carry out similar academic projects in cooperation with Greek counterparts, the ministry said, adding that the Turkish government supports this “positive and constructive approach.”

Delineation of the continental shelf is an issue of dispute between Aegean neighbors Turkey and Greece. Turkey says the distance should be measured from the mainland when determining the boundaries of Turkey and Greece's continental shelves, while Greece insists all Greek islands in the Aegean must be taken into account. Turkey says this means Greece would gain rights to exploit economic resources in almost the entire Aegean.

“Turkey does not accept the view that the entire Aegean is part of the Greek continental shelf. Neither does this claim does not comply with international law,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Turkish and Greek diplomats have held dozens of closed-door meetings in an effort to resolve the territorial disputes in the Aegean, but no progress has been reported to date.

@ A.Khan: You're worried about something as trite as courtesy -- enough to get your panties in a wad??? There is much more Greeks need to be worried about other than their perception of another nation's alleged courtesy, or the lack of it. What else can you think of to deflect attention from the hor...
@ Cherokee--pity the poor Turks, who have been fed lies about their own history for so many years that most are not capable of giving the human decency of an admission of culpability for the horrors their ancestors perpetuated against other Anatolian ethnic groups. Turkey, as the inheritor of these ...
@Mr.simple Simon Thank you for your advice for me to brush up my history but It sounds like you need to do the same but before that I think, you all Greeks who are filled with anger, jealousy and hatred which most people would call it racism/racist and from what I read here most of you are in this c...
And only by the comments of the Turks here, it seems how much they "respect" all their neighboors around them, especially if they are not Muslims or more specifically of turkish origin...
The Greeks complaint is about courtesy to inform in advance about the project in common waters.
A. Khan
Allah feering Muslims like in next door Syria, or Ottoms in 1915, or present day Turks calling 20% of their Kurdish population terrorist and killing thousands and then justifying their acts and rewriting history qualify as peaceful, humanitarian and democratic atributes to brag about.
Uncle Billy
Pity the poor Greeks -- again, they must distract themselves for the immense self-induced damage they've done to their own people via their own government by deflecting their self-loathing to the Turks that are doing nothing unlawful. IF they could possibly channel all that hate which accomplishes n...
"The ministry also said the Piri Reis is conducting biological and oceanographic research that has nothing to do with gas or oil exploration." Yes, we all believed that, didn`t we?
There is a good will in Greece among ordinary people to ordinary people in Turkey. Suspicion exists however about Turkish expansionist aims in the region. There is fear in Athens that Turkey seeks to take advantage of Greece's economic weakness to impose a stranglehold on Greece's economy, its tou...
Capt. Leonidas Frangelakis
@wildTurkey Greeks have been living in what is now Turkey continuously since the middle 2nd millennium BC. It was heavily settled by Ionian and Aeolian Greeks and became known as Ionia and Aeolia. The city of Byzantium, which would go on to become Constantinople and Istanbul, was founded by colonist...
DutchTurk ,you said: "Just the clashes of interests, Turkey will do whatever it takes to secure it's interests". Its about "vital space" right? I hope you know that Hitler was using the same words for Germany before WW2? C.Emre Gulsever things are simple. Turkey cannot accept the Law of the Sea fo...
The Greek media reported that Piri Reis (which by the way nearly led the two countries to the brink of war in 1987) entered the Greek territorial waters. Here it is reported that it did not. I am not a lawyer to see what the international conventions say about these things, but we know the Piri Rei...
Relax everybody lets just enjoy vacations and summer at our islands and your shores respectively. As for the minerals and underwater deposits there are some others usually who take the decisions some thousands miles away from here...
C. Emre Gülsever. You are writing about Muslim values. Which I respect. But I think you have missed something there. You are not supposed to take heavy drugs. To write a message so confused and without any kind of facts, logic or reasoning, like you did, you must have been on some rather heavy stuff...
That old rust bucket has been stirring up tensions since Turkey launched it in the 1970s to look for Aegean oil. They only ever bring it out when they want to stoke tension with Greece. I hope it hits a reef and finally sinks.
Christoph, please don't talk about laws. You are only confusing Mr. Gulsever, he does not understand the concept of complying with them.
@ C. Emre Gulsever, I apologize for bringing up the issue of compliance with international law. As a Turk you're probably unfamiliar with it. Cordially, as always.
It says exploration was OUTSIDE OF GREEK TERRITORIAL WATERS!!! Greeks have no right to whine they are just jealous because they are incapable of doing same thing. Jews are stealing oil from Palestinians and Lebanese wheres the outrage?
@Christoph, this Law of Sea stuff is one of the things that we are fed up with hearing from Greeks all the time. Your comment is completely dull with nothing worth and new in it to read at all. Please do not even attempt to talk about "international conventions" as your known hypocricy prevents you ...
C. Emre Gülsever
complain and blame others...greece policy
Greece Papa Smurf should ask Bibi for help.
Greeks asked Turks to invest in their bancrupt country...so we take what is worthful--> greek dignity
I think, the big mistake was made by Italians when they gave all those little islets and islands to Greeks at the end of WWI because Turkey was on the loosing side instead It should’ve been divided between the two nations, islands that are close to Turkish cost line to Turks and others to Greeks
Just the clashes of interests, Turkey will do whatever it takes to secure it's interests, like any other self respecting country would do. Turkey is not the aggressor, just the country that openly and clearly protects it's interests according to the signed conventions.
Grow some thicker skin; it's one scientific ship in international waters. What's the problem? Compared to the past dog fights in the air, f-16s actually touching each other in flight, this is cotton candy.
Turkish Canadian
Turkey is one of the few maritime nations in the world who have not signed the Law of the Sea. Once again Turkey's government chooses to operate outside accepted international conventions and then they protest when they are criticized. 'No problems with neighbors' in reality is 'Problems with ALL ne...
Cheeky Greeks!!
1) Why is Turkey being so provocative? There is no need to pick a fight. 2) the Piri Reis is an Oil and Gas exploration vessel not an 'academic' research vessel. 3) If the Continental shelf is still in dispute, why does Turkey not implement the necessary laws and then go to the international courts ...
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