Egypt warns Turkey could encroach on its waters over seismic survey

Egypt has warned Turkey against encroaching on its waters as the latter prepares to carry out a seismic survey in the eastern Mediterranean.

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

It did not give details, but said the potential encroachment came under point eight of Turkey’s advisory. Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbons exploration.

The announcement of the survey escalated tensions between Turkey on one side and Greece and Cyprus on the other, amid conflicting claims to offshore hydrocarbon resources.

Turkey has since indicated it could pause exploration operations pending talks. Egypt is a regional rival of Turkey and has close relations with Greece and Cyprus.