Turkey does not expect EU sanctions over East Med dispute: Turkish FM

Turkey does not expect the European Union to impose sanctions on Ankara over its dispute with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

Ankara is open to negotiations with Athens without pre-conditions, he told NTV broadcaster but adding that Turkey will ask preconditions too if Greece insists.

His statement came one day after the Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis returned to the southern port in Antalya following its operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The move is not a “concession”, but the ship needed maintenance, the minister said, adding that the vessel will resume its work later.

In August, Turkey dispatched Oruc Reis and two auxiliary navy vessels to the disputed region near the Greek island of Meis, also known as Kastellorizo, where Greece claims lies within its continental shelf.

The military delegations from Turkey and Greece met in NATO’s headquarters last week after NATO’s secretary-general initiated de-confliction talks between the two NATO member states.