Ankara, Turkey – Turkey on Monday night issued a new navigational telex (Navtex) for the continuation of survey activities of its Oruç Reis vessel until September 12.

The navtex was the third renewal in a row for the vessel which has been moving between Greece and Cyprus for several weeks, prompting a flurry of diplomacy, and now warnings, by European Union officials for it to withdraw.

It followed a statement by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu according to which the Oruç Reis will remain in the Eastern Mediterranean for another three months and an escalation of incendiary rhetoric by other Turkish officials including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who declared on Monday that the Oruç Reis will continue its activities and that Turkey won’t tolerate “piracy” in the Islands Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey counters Greek provocations, says will ‘not be blackmailed’

Turkey on Monday issued a navigational telex, extending its legal seismic surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey sought to extend the exploratory activities of its Oruç Reis seismic survey ship for a third time, to September 12.

The Turkish advisory stresses that Turkey’s Navtex is legal as it concerns an area that is withing Turkey’s continental shelf.

Greece continues to faithfully live up to its role as a troublemaker and an element of instability in the region.

Turkey will not be blackmailed. Relying exclusively on international law, the Law of the Sea and the rules of good neighborly relations, it will continue to seek maritime zone delimitation agreements with every country in the region.

Turkey slams alleged Greek attempt to change status of Kastellorizo (Meis)

Turkey has condemned “illegitimate attempts” by Greece to change the status of Kastellorizo (Meis) following news footage in the Turkish media allegedly showing Greek soldiers disembarking from a ferry on the southeastern Aegean island on Friday.

Asked about reports of an alleged Greek military build-up on Kastellorizo, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Sunday that the island has had a demilitarized status established since the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty.

“If true, these media reports are a novel manifestation of the law-disrespecting actions of Greece and her true intentions regarding the Eastern Mediterranean,” Aksoy said.

“We reject the illegitimate attempts of changes on the status of the island,” Aksoy said, adding that Turkey “will not allow… such a provocation immediately across her coasts.”

“Such provocative actions will prove useless for Greece. Should Greece continue to take tension-increasing steps in the region, she will be the one suffering from it,” Aksoy said.

“Turkey is determined indefinitely to defend her rights and interests stemming from international law,” he said.

There was no immediate reaction from the Greek government.

However, Bloomberg on Monday quoted a source close to the Greek government saying that the soldiers were already stationed on the island, adding that the event was a routine troop rotation.