According to Kathimerini Cyprus, Turkey’s seismic research vessel 'Barbaros' departed from the port of Tasucu on Wednesday night and may be heading towards the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.
The movement of 'Barbaros' is also confirmed by the ship's location system, where it shows it has left the port where it was located, without, however, its destination being clear.
According to the NAVTEX issued by Turkey on Tuesday, the vessel is set to explore an area south and southeast of Cyprus, until September 18.
It plans to conduct seismic activity inside Blocks 2,3 and partly 13 of Cyprus’ EEZ.
This comes after Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın on Tuesday said Turkey will suspend research for oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, pending talks with Greece.
In an interview on CNN Turk, Kalin said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his aides to “put this on hold for some time.”
Last week, Turkey announced plans to dispatch research vessel Oruc Reis to the south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.
“Greece gave an extreme reaction after our Navtex as if we will go occupy Meis Island (Kastellorizo). Nevertheless, our president said ‘since these negotiations are continuing, let’s see what happens and put this on hold for some time,” Kalin said.
The Greek Armed Forces were put on high alert on land, sea and air, and continue to closely monitor Turkish movements.
“Everyone should continue working on their own continental shelves and conduct joint work in contested areas,” Kalin continued. He also said that bilateral issues with Greece should be solved through dialogue rather than through threats on Turkey’s bid for European Union membership.