Erdogan says Turkey pulled back survey vessel to allow for diplomacy with Greece

ANKARA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Turkey pulled back its Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel from the eastern Mediterranean to allow for diplomacy with Greece, but this not mean Turkish operations in the region are finished, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Oruc Reis returned to waters near Turkey’s southern province of Antalya on Sunday for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions over offshore natural resources and maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking to reporters following Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdogan also said he was ready to meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in person or via videoconference to discuss tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu Editing by Ece Toksabay