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Iran Press TV

Turkish survey ship returns to base ahead of EU meet

Iran Press TV

Monday, 30 November 2020 11:09 AM

Turkey has decided to once again return home its seismic research vessel from the disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea ahead of a European Union meeting.

Oruc Reis returned to Antalya port on Monday morning, media said citing Refinitiv ship tracking data.

The mapping vessel occupies a centerpiece place in an ongoing territorial dispute between NATO partners Turkey and Greece over drilling rights in the energy-rich continental shelf hidden under the waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

"Our ship, which has collected 10,995 km of 2D seismic data, has returned to the Antaliya port," the Turkish Ministry of Energy said in a tweet.

The vessel had previously returned to base ahead of another EU summit in October.

However, the ship went back to sea and resumed its mapping duties in the disputed waters after the summit ended with unsatisfactory results.

Athens has said that as long as the vessel is mapping the sea, it will not negotiate with Ankara to find a solution to the territorial dispute.

Turkey says the EU, which aims to slap sanctions on Ankara, has taken sides with Greece in the dispute.

France sent a warship to the region after tensions flared up between the quarreling sides, Athens, Ankara and their links in Cyprus earlier this year.

EU leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels in mid-December to discuss various issues, including finding a way to reach a solution for the dispute with Turkey.

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