Turkish Embassy in Wellington

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Tcg Çeşme - Hydrographic Survey Activities , 01.07.2010

Some press reports appeared yesterday in the Greek media regarding the conduct of a so-called geological survey by the Turkish Navy research vessel TCG Çeşme at high seas in the Northern Aegean Sea. These reports have unfortunately been subject of press statements by the Greek Foreign Ministry and by some high level Greek officials.

According to information obtained from our relevant authorities, TCG Çeşme has carried out a hydrographic survey in the Northern Aegean Sea, in the framework of the ordinary activities designed to update maritime navigation charts. Similar surveys are also regularly conducted by Greece in the international waters of the Aegean Sea.

It should be recalled that at the Aegean Sea there is no maritime jurisdiction area beyond territorial waters. Therefore, the maritime area lying beyond territorial waters at the Aegean Sea has the status of high seas. With 1976 Bern Agreement, Turkey and Greece committed to refrain from any activity related to oil exploration and exploitation beyond their territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, until the continental shelf issue is resolved. Turkey fully respects this Agreement.

Therefore Greek media news qualifying the survey of TCG Çeşme as a geological research in connection with the Aegean continental shelf are totally unfounded. This information and our views have also been transmitted to the Greek Foreign Ministry.