The Rhodes examining magistrate issued an arrest warrant for a secretary at the Turkish consulate over alleged espionage.

Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pictured in this file photo.
Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pictured in this file photo. (AA)

Turkey has condemned the arrest of a staff member working at one of its diplomatic missions in Greece on Friday.

"We condemn the arrest of Sebahattin Bayram, a contracted secretary at our Consulate General in Rhodes, within an investigation carried out by the Greek authorities on allegations of espionage taking photographs of ships," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish foreign ministry said that Athens violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the right to freedom and security in the European Convention on Human Rights for arresting the Greek-national Bayram, as well as the right to respect private and family life.

The foreign ministry said the espionage charge against Bayram stemmed from his "taking photographs of vessels".

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'Greek media targets consulate personnel'

It also accused Greek media outlets of "targeting our personnel and his family, as well as our representatives and employees in Greece by violating the presumption of innocence."

Suggesting that the investigation was concocted by groups seeking to further increase tensions between the two countries, the statement added that Turkey would take the necessary steps to safeguard Bayram's rights.

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Recent tension between Turkey and Greece

Relations between Turkey and Greece are at odds due to several issues.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Ankara has sent several drill ships in recent months to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favour of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighbourly relations, dialogue, and negotiation.

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Source: AA