Turkey’s seismic survey an attack on Egypt’s sovereignty, Cairo says

Egypt said that a seismic survey planned by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean likely encroaches on its waters and is an attack on its sovereignty.

An advisory issued last month by Turkey for the survey overlaps with Egypt’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), constituting “a violation and an attack on Egypt’s sovereign rights”, Reuters cited the Egyptian foreign ministry as saying in a statement on Saturday. 

Egypt said the potential encroachment came under point eight of Turkey’s advisory, but did not go into details.

Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbons exploration. Tensions have risen in the eastern Mediterranean recently between Turkey on one side and Greece and Cyprus on the other, due to conflicting claims over offshore hydrocarbon exploration rights. 

Turkey recently indicated it could pause exploration operations pending negotiations.

Egypt is a regional rival of Turkey - including in Libya, where the two countries back opposing sides in the country’s civil war. Egypt also has close relations with Greece and Cyprus.