ATHENS -- Greece said Thursday it would take 'all the required measures' to protect its national rights following reports from Ankara that a Turkish survey ship will explore for oil in the Aegean Sea.
The statement was made by government spokesman Yannis Roubatis following reports in the Istanbul daily newpaper Hurriyet that the Turkish survey ship Sismik was to search for oil off the Turkish island of Gocse Adasi in the Aegean.
Roubatis declined further comment pending official confirmation of the report.
According to Turkey's official Anatolian News Agency, a map was published with details of the exploration areas.
Earlier this month another Turkish research ship, the Piri Reis, accompanied by two warships, carried out research in Northern Aegean, west of the Greek islands of Samothrace and Limnos.
On that occasion, Grece accused Turkey of provocative actions, but Turkey retorted that the naval escort was provided because Greek warplanes and naval ships harassed the Piri Reis.
Roubatis also confirmed that Ali Bozer, the Turkish minister in charge of European Economic Committee affairs, was scheduled to visit Greece early in April for talks with Greek government officials. He stressed, however, that Bozer's talks will deal only with 'Turkey's relations with the Common Market.'
Greece and Turkey have had a running dispute over offshore mineral rights in the Aegean. There is no clear delineation of the continental shelf for Greek or Turkish islands because neither side can agree on a method to carry it out.
Greece, which has signed both the 1952 Geneva Convention and the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, seeks a settlement through the International Court in the Hague.
Turkey, which has not signed any of the conventions, claims that only the two mainlands are entitled to a seabed and seeks a delineation through bilateral negotiations with Greece.
In 1976 both countries signed the Bern Protocole in which they agreed not to explore ouytside their territorial waters until they had divided their joint continental shelf.