Turkey will begin drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus in coming days, state-owned news agency Anadolu reported Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying on Thursday.
“In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying in a speech to a business conference in western Turkey’s Aydin province.
“Let those who come to the region from far away, and their companies, see that nothing can be done in that region without us. Nothing at all can be done in the Mediterranean without Turkey, we will not allow that,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey launched its first drillship Fatih in October to drill off the coast of Turkey’s southern Antalya province.
It said a second ship that it purchased would operate in the Black Sea, but was diverted to the Cyprus area.
Turkey’s claims in the island’s EEZ partly overlap with Cyprus’ blocks 1, 4, 6 and 7.
Ankara also supports the breakaway north’s claims on blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13, including within few kilometres from the Aphrodite gas field in block12.
Source: Cyprus Mail