Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned overseas oil corporations over power exploration off Cyprus, describing those that defy Ankara as “bandits of the ocean” who would face an identical response as its foes in Syria.
Erdogan mentioned in a speech marking the commissioning of a brand new Turkish warship that exploiting the sources of the japanese Mediterranean whereas excluding Ankara was unacceptable.
Drilling for hydrocarbon sources off EU member Cyprus is massively delicate as its northern third is occupied by Turkish forces who invaded in 1974 in response to a coup aimed toward uniting the island with Greece.
The Turkish-populated northern a part of the island then declared the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is recognised solely by Ankara. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island have to date come to nothing.
“As we made the terrorists in Syria pay, we won’t depart the scene to the bandits of the ocean,” Erdogan mentioned on the commissioning of the TCG Burgazada, the third home-built corvette fight ship launched by Turkey as a part of its MILGEM undertaking.
Turkey has within the final two years waged profitable army campaigns in Syria in opposition to Kurdish militia and IS jihadists which left components of the nation’s north underneath the management of pro-Ankara forces.
Foreign power giants akin to ExxonMobil of the US, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total have all mentioned they’re dedicated to power drilling off Cyprus, in defiance of previous warnings from Erdogan.
But Erdogan mentioned: “Those who thought they may take steps within the Eastern Mediterranean or the Aegean in defiance of Turkey have now begun to grasp what a giant mistake they have been making.
“It is totally unacceptable to usurp the pure sources of the japanese Mediterranean whereas excluding Turkey and the TRNC,” he added.
Analysts have warned that the state of affairs is extraordinarily flamable with the chance that one false transfer might result in a significant confrontation.
In February, a drill ship contracted by ENI to discover off Cyprus deserted its mission after Turkish warships blocked its path.
Cyprus final month invited Total, ENI and ExxonMobil to bid for unclaimed Block 7 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Block 10 has already been licensed to ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.
Texas-based Noble Energy in 2011 made the primary discovery off Cyprus within the Aphrodite block estimated to comprise round four.5 trillion cubic ft of fuel.
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The discovery of close by Egypt’s large Zohr offshore reservoir in 2015 has stoked hopes that Cypriot waters maintain additional riches.
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