Turkey: Piri Reis conducts survey, not oil
ANKARA-Hürriyet Daily News
Piri Reis will carry out scientific research in the Aegean Sea until March 29. DHA PhotoThe Turkish research vessel Piri Reis will be carrying out scientific research in Turkish territorial waters and international waters of the Aegean until March 29, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, clarifying that the vessel’s mission was not related to oil and gas exploration, but was an academic marine survey.
The research, supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK), was planned last year and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has already been informed about it in due course, said the statement. “This is a biological and oceanographic research activity and is in no way related to oil and gas exploration,” the ministry stated.
The statement pointed out that the Aegean continental shelf has not yet been delimited between Turkey and Greece, and said “The moratorium pertaining to freezing all oil and gas exploration activities beyond the territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, as agreed by both countries under the 1976 Bern Agreement, is still valid.”
Academic marine surveys beyond the scope of this moratorium may be conducted without any restriction by both countries in the international waters of the Aegean, the ministry said, adding that neither Turkey nor Greece require any prior consent from or notification of the other to conduct of such. “We disagree with the argument that the whole Aegean is the Greek continental shelf. This claim is not compatible with international law,” the ministry said.