Turkey says Greek jets harass research vessel over Aegean Sea
ANKARA / ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey said Tuesday that four Greek jets were harassing a Turkish research vessel in the Aegean Sea, but Athens denied the allegations made as the two NATO members attempt to resume talks on maritime disputes.
The Cesme research vessel began surveying work in international waters between the two countries last week, causing Greece to protest.
Turkey's Defense Ministry said the four Greek F-16s approached the Cesme on Monday and one dropped a chaff two nautical miles from the ship.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey responded with "necessary retaliation ... in accordance with the rules".
"While we are doing science, harassment is not appropriate, it is not appropriate for good neighborly relations," he told reporters in parliament.
An official from the Greek Defense Ministry denied the allegations, saying: "Greek jets never molested the Turkish ship."
After a five-year hiatus, Turkish and Greek officials met on January 25 to discuss a decade-long dispute over the delimitation of sea zones and the rights to energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. The Allies have agreed to meet again in Athens.
Athens said it had sent an invitation to Ankara proposing to resume talks in early March ahead of an EU summit. Ankara has announced that it will continue talks and improve relations with the EU, which Greece is supporting in the dispute.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara and Eleftherios Papadimas in Athens; editing by Dominic Evans)
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