Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
January 20, 2020

Cyprus accuses Turkey of illegal drilling operations

The government of Cyprus has called Turkey a “pirate state” after Ankara announced on Friday that the drilling ship Yavuz started to conduct its third drilling operation on the southern coast of Cyprus.

By Ilaria Grasso Macola

The government of Cyprus has called Turkey a “pirate state” after Ankara announced on Friday that the drilling ship Yavuz started to conduct its third drilling operation on the southern coast of Cyprus.

The Cypriot government accused Turkey of carrying out “a flagrant violation” of the country’s sovereignty and maritime law as the drilling was conducted inside exploration block 8, which Cyprus has licensed to Eni and Total. Exploration block 8 is part of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, a 70,000 km2 area divided into 13 exploration blocks where the country has special rights regarding exploration and the use of resources.

According to the Turkish foreign ministry, the operations are legal as the licence was granted to state-owned Turkish Petroleum in 2011 by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a de facto state not recognised by the international community.

On 13 July 2019, Turkish Cypriot authorities proposed to Cyprus a deal where the two states would partner and share revenues coming from oil and natural gas drillings.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said: “In this licence area, as the co-owners of the Island, Turkish Cypriots have rights as much as the Greek Cypriots.”

European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson Peter Stano criticised Turkey’s drilling attempts and reaffirmed the need for states to abide by international law.

Content from our partners
How the North of Tyne region is leveraging its legacy to define its future
Q&A with Chevron Lubricants’ Paul Sly, global industrial OEM specialist, and Nathan Knotts, global brand technical manager
The important role of antifoam agents in oil-gas separation and amine treating

He said: “Concrete steps towards creating an environment conducive to dialogue in good faith are needed. The intention by Turkey to launch further exploration and drilling activities in the wider region goes, regrettably, in the opposite direction.”

Turkey accused the EU of having double standards and ignoring the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

“The European Union has remained silent since 2003, to the usurpation and violation of the rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. The EU, acting under the pretext of union solidarity should first of all end its unrealistic, prejudiced and double standard policies,” said Aksoy.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU