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Greece condemns Ankara as Turkish survey ship sets sail

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

ANTALYA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 18: A photo taken from Kas district of Turkey's Antalya province shows island of Meis, or Kastellorizo on September 18, 2020. Meis Island is located just 2.1 kilometers from Antalya's Kas district and 580 kilometers from the mainland of Greece. Mobility of people and vehicles on Meis Island can be easily seen from Kas district of Antalya. (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Tensions spiked between Greece and Turkey on Monday over offshore rights in the eastern Mediterranean, with Athens vowing to push its EU peers to activate sanctions against Ankara.

Istanbul and AthensTensions spiked between Greece and Turkey on Monday over offshore rights in the eastern Mediterranean, with Athens vowing to push its European Union (EU) peers to activate sanctions against Ankara.

The deterioration in relations followed the departure earlier on Monday of a Turkish ship, the Oruc Reis, to conduct work south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo, which is close to Turkey's southern coast.

Ankara had withdrawn the same vessel from contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean last month to "allow for diplomacy" before an EU summit at which Cyprus pushed for sanctions against Turkey.

All those who believed Turkey meant all it said before the European summit of October 1 - 2 now stand corrected," Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.

Relations between Greece and Turkey are complicated by a range of disputes, from juristiction in the Mediterranean to ethnically split Cyprus.

The Cyprus situation was inflamed last week by the Turkish Cypriot north partially reopening a beach resort abandoned by Greek Cypriot residents during a 1974 war.

In a sign of the growing tensions, about 200 people brandishing a large Greek flag burst through a checkpoint close to Varosha in eastern Cyprus on Sunday night, attempting to cross to the Turkish Cypriot side of the island.

At the summit in early October the EU said it would punish Turkey if it continued operations in the region and that sanctions could be imposed as soon as December.

Greek government spokesman Petsas said the EU does not need to wait two months before taking action.

So the only issue here is to activate more drastic solutions, for Turkey to feel more stick and less carrot this time," Petsas said.

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