Turkey conducts naval exercises in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey has carried out naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, the country’s defense ministry says, against a backdrop of tensions with its neighbors over energy exploration in the region.

The defense ministry said on its Twitter account that “elements of our navy command” conducted the exercises, without specifying the location other than “eastern Mediterranean.”

However it posted photos showing a naval vessel firing a cannon.

Turkey is at loggerheads with EU members Greece and Cyprus over energy resources in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The exercises follow an announcement by the European Union on December 10 of plans to impose sanctions on Turkey over its “illegal and aggressive” actions in the zone.