Turkey to hold military exercise off Cyprus amid Mediterranean tensions

ISTANBUL: Turkey said it will hold a military exercise off northwest Cyprus for the next two weeks from Saturday (Aug 29), amid growing tension with Greece over disputed claims to exploration rights in the east Mediterranean.

The long-running dispute between Turkey and Greece, both NATO members, flared up after the two countries agreed rival accords on their maritime boundaries with Libya and Egypt, and Turkey sent a survey vessel into contested waters this month.

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Both sides have held military exercises in the east Mediterranean, highlighting the potential for the dispute over the extent of their continental shelves to escalate into confrontation.

READ: Turkey says ready for talks with Greece despite war games

Two weeks ago Greek and Turkish frigates shadowing Turkey's Oruc Reis oil and gas survey vessel collided, and Turkey's Defence Ministry said Turkish F-16 jets on Thursday prevented six Greek F-16s entering an area where Turkey was operating.

On Friday night Turkey issued a Navtex notice – an advisory message to mariners – saying it would be holding a &qRead More – Source