Turkey is sending back seismic vessel Oruc Reis to resume controversial exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in a move bound to to reignite tensions with European Union members Greece and Cyprus.

The Turkish Navy on Sunday said the vessel will conduct seismic activities until 22 October, lowering expectations of a negotiated settlement to overlapping maritime claims any time soon.

Oruc Reis is being deployed south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo, escorted by two other Turkish naval vessels.

Tensions between Turkey and Greece in August heightened after Oruc Reis entered disputed waters, flanked by naval frigates.