German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks at a session of the German lower house of parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, on October 7, 2020.
“Ankara must end the interplay between detente and provocation if the government is interested in talks – as it has repeatedly affirmed,” Maas said in Berlin before his flight to Cyprus and Greece, Reuters wrote.
He appealed to Turkey to remain open for talks and called on Ankara not to resume gas exploration in the more controversial sea areas.
On Sunday, the Turkish Navy announced that a seismic research vessel named Oruc Reis would be redeployed to contested waters to prospect for oil and gas.
The Turkish ship set sail on Monday to carry out seismic surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean, which prompted Greece to issue a furious new demand for EU sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights.
Turkey had withdrawn the ship earlier both for maintenance and as a gesture toward reconciliation.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Greece had no right to oppose Turkish seismic exploration work 15 kilometers from its mainland in the Eastern Mediterranean and on its continental shelf.
The Oruc Reis was first dispatched to survey an area between Cyprus and Greece’s Crete Island in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in August. No rapprochement was effected during its short withdrawal, despite mediation by Germany.
The EU has sided with Greece and Cyprus and threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey, which has been hoping to accede to the bloc for years.