Despite European warnings.. Oruç Reis ship returns to eastern Mediterranean

Turkish media reported, Tuesday, that the exploration vessel "Uruç Reis" that returned to the Antalya port a few days ago for maintenance, left the port this morning towards the eastern Mediterranean.

The newspaper "Yeni Safak" indicated that the ship traffic tracking programs indicate that the ship left the port of Antalya, but it is still within the Turkish territorial waters, and did not go far.

The ship "Oruç Reis" returned on the thirteenth of September to the port of Antalya in southern Turkey for the first time in weeks after Ankara announced last July that the ship had been sent to search for oil and gas in the waters that Greece says it belongs to.

Despite the statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, that the ship was withdrawn for maintenance, Erdogan said that the reason behind his move was to give a chance to diplomatic efforts with Greece.

Athens considered the withdrawal of the drilling ship a "step in the right direction," while Erdogan expressed his readiness to meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in person or via video call to discuss the issue.

The conflict between Ankara and Athens sparked a crisis that necessitated the interference of European Union member states, especially France, which deployed ships and fighters in the region in support of Greece.

It is decided that the leaders of the European Union to discuss imposing sanctions on Ankara at a meeting to be held on September 24 and 25.

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