Turkey says sent away nine Greek, Cypriot naval ships from its continental shelf

Turkey said it prevented nine ships of the Greek and Cypriot navies from entering the waters of its continental shelf.

The incidents occurred over the past year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a speech at a diplomacy conference in Ankara on Monday. He did not say exactly when or where they took place.

“We prevented them with measures both out in the field and at the table,” Çavuşoğlu said, according to local media.

Turkey and Greece are involved in a protracted spat over territory in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Both countries have accused each other of infringing on their territorial waters and airspace. Turkey has signed an agreement with Libya that it claims legally extends its continental shelf into waters near Cyprus, Crete and other Greek islands.

Çavuşoğlu repeated a demand that Greece demilitarise its Aegean islands off the Turkish coastline.

“We will continue to raise this issue, which is fundamental to the security of our country,” he said. “In the Aegean, we want any interrelated problems to be dealt with in a comprehensive manner.”

Tensions between the two neighbours have flared up after Turkey sent survey ships and drilling vessels into disputed waters in the search for oil and natural gas.

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