Turkish Presidential Spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, reported on Thursday that Turkey thinks that conditions are favorable to keeping discussions with fellow NATO member Greece after that Oruc Reis seismic survey ship of Ankara withdrew from the contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean.
In fact, Turkey and Greece have been found in a huge conflict about conflicting alleges on the extent of their continental shelves and investigation for potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean, Tensions between the two parties increased last month when Turkey deployed the Oruc Reis to contested waters also required by Greece and Cyprus.
It should be noted that Oruc Reis returned on Sunday to Turkey’s southern province of Antalya for what Ankara called routine maintenance, in a step which Greece described as a positive first step in easing tensions. The two parties started discussions at NATO to avoid military accidents in the region, after a small marine accident last month.
Kalin declaring when he is speaking at an online panel, the return of Oruc Reis to Antalya was an opportunity to advance talks and this should not be squandered, and he added: Ankara hopes this will be reflected positively at a European Union summit on September 24-25.
He also said: We want to see a new page turned in the relations between Turkey and Greece, but also in relations between Turkey and the EU, adding: We are hopeful, we believe the climate is conducive to that at the moment and we have, I think, reached an understanding with regards to which steps we need to be taking over the next few weeks to resume these talks.
Moreover, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, reported on Wednesday that the maintenance of Oruc Reis may take a few weeks according to the energy ministry; however, he said that the ship will return after to its operations. Otherwise, the heads of the EU will discuss the issue at the summit later this month and will estimate potential sanctions.