Turkey extends controversial Mediterranean gas exploration

Turkey announced late Saturday that it is extending by one week a gas exploration mission in the eastern Mediterranean that has caused tensions with Greece.

In a fresh notice to shipping in the area, Turkey said the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel, accompanied by two support ships, will operate in the area south of the Greek island of Rhodes until Nov. 4.

An earlier notice had said the ships would be operating in the area until Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Ankara had dispatched the Oruc Reis along with several warships in August to waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus, sparking a dispute that threatened a military confrontation between the NATO allies. The mission drew condemnation from the European Union.