After final preparations in Istanbul in Turkey on Thursday (22 July), the Turkish oil exploration ship "Sismik One" set sail for the disputed Aegean Sea the following day.
GV Turkish oil exploration ship 'Sismik One'.
PAN ALONG Ship and crew to bow.
MV Drum of cable on crane.
GV Ship ZOOM OUT
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Background: After final preparations in Istanbul in Turkey on Thursday (22 July), the Turkish oil exploration ship "Sismik One" set sail for the disputed Aegean Sea the following day. Greece has claimed the sea to be within its own territorial rights.
SYNOPSIS: Greece and Turkey lie on either side of the Aegean Sea. Greece had controlled the rights to most of the sea for several years, but recently it was discovered that oil could lie under the sea-bed. Turkey began showing interest in the Aegean, and on top of the Cyprus disagreement the two countries began disputing mineral rights in their watery frontier. Turkey mounted air and sea manoeuvres earlier this month, claiming them to be annual exercises, while Greece put its armed forces on standby. The dispute originally arose when Greece found traces of oil off its Aegean island of Thasos two years ago.
Turkey claims that a continental shelf on which it haws rights extends to the middle of the Aegean. Greece says its three thousand islands in the Aegean each have their own continental shelf belonging to the mother country.
Some of the Greek islands are within sight of the Turkish mainland. On the eve of the sailing of the Sismik One, Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel told reporters "the Aegean is not a Greek lake. We have a right to carry out seismic surveys in the Aegean Sea outside Greek territorial waters. No one can prevent this".