Seismic ship to leave for east Mediterranean, Turkey says

September 22, 2011 18:26

ANKARA - Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said a Turkish seismic exploration vessel will depart for the eastern Mediterranean on Friday after Turkey signed a deal with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state to allow offshore gas exploration.

Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over energy reserves have escalated after the Greek Cypriot government said this week drilling had begun in a southeastern offshore block.

Turkey has said it would send navy warships to escort any exploration vessels to the eastern Mediterranean, but Yildiz told a news conference in the capital Ankara on Thursday that he did not expect tensions "in the short term".

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