State Department Says US “Deeply Concerned” About Turkey’s “Provocative Actions”

US State Department in Washington, D.C. File photo

In a statement released on Monday, the US State Department voiced its condemnation of Turkey’s most recent actions in the Eastern Mediterranean as it sent the vessel Oruc Reis to probe for oil and gas just to the south of the Greek island chain of Kastellorizo.

Turkey had earlier announced that it would be conducting seismic oil and gas explorations in the area, which is atop the continental shelf of Greece.

“The United States is aware that Turkey has issued a notification to other ships of survey activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. We urge Turkish authorities to halt any such plans for operations and to and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Later on Monday, it was reported in Greek media that the Oruc Reis had been stopped from conducting seismic tests after a number of Greek Navy vessels appeared in the area, with their noise interfering with the sound signals sent out by the Turkish vessel so such a great degree that the seismic tests were impossible to carry out.