Turkey warns Total & Eni not to drill off Cyprus

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy claimed block 7 overlaps a section of Turkey’s continental shelf.

“Part of the so-called license area Number 7 — as we have repeatedly underlined and shared with the international community — remains within the continental shelf of our country, which is also registered with the United Nations,” Aksoy said.

“Turkey will in no way allow any foreign country, company or vessel to engage in unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities within its maritime jurisdiction and will continue to take the necessary measures to protect its rights and interests,” he added.

Nicosia on Wednesday signed a deal with Total and Eni — the biggest players in Cyprus’ energy search — for exploration and drilling off the island’s coast.

Around nine exploration drills are expected over the next 24 months in the various blocks off the southern coast.

Aksoy said the deal with Total and Eni “shows that despite all our warnings, the Greek Cypriot Administration (Cyprus) is not able to realize our commitment to this issue.”

“This signature proves that the Greek Cypriot Administration insists on maintaining the irresponsible attitude that disregards the equal, inseparable rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots to the natural resources in and around the island.”

Turkey opposes Cyprus’ energy quest without the participation of Turkish Cypriots but does not recognise the Republic or its EEZ, claiming large swathes as its own such as blocks 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Ankara sent two drill ships — Fatih and the Yavuz — into Cyprus waters several months ago, those vessels have since left the area.

Source: Financial Mirror