Greece summons Turkish ambassador over EastMed gas exploration applications

Greece’s Foreign Ministry summoned on Monday the Turkish ambassador to deliver a demarche over the publication of Turkish Petroleum’s (TPAO) applications for an exploration permit in the East Mediterranean in Turkey’s Official Gazette, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Greek  Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has dismissed the publication as another step in Ankara’s efforts to “usurp Greece’s sovereign rights, it said.

"Greece was and remains fully prepared to deal with this provocation, if Turkey decides to implement it,"Dendias said, adding that Athens' stance on the matter has been"repeatedly conveyed" to Turkey.

Last month, Turkish state-run TPAO submitted an application to begin drilling in parts of the eastern Mediterranean outlined in a maritime borders agreement signed last year between Turkey and Libya’s U.N.-recognised government.

The deal ignores territorial waters around the divided island of Cyprus and a number of Greek islands, including Crete. A consortium of countries seeking to build an offshore pipeline to supply Europe with natural gas across those waters has called the memorandum illegal.

The European Union also opposes the maritime deal.