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Minister of Defense of Turkey Hulusi Akar has declared that Turkey wants to resolve the dispute with Greece through dialogue, but it will defend its rights and interests in the region, Reuters reports.

Greece says Turkey’s exploration vessel Oruc Reis is operating illegally in waters which fall in Greece’s continental shelf, accusations which Ankara has dismissed. The vessel was accompanied by Turkish warships when it left port.

“Despite all this, we want to believe that common sense will prevail. Both on the field and at the table, we side with international law, good neighborliness and dialogue,” Akar told Reuters. “We want to reach political solutions through peaceful means in line with international laws.”

Akar said Turkey would continue to defend its “rights, ties and interests” in coastal waters. “It should be known that our seas are our blue homeland. Every drop is valuable,” he said.

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