Creating new perspectives since 2009

Cyprus says Turkey flouts international law with drill

November 15, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Turkish-flagged drill ship continue offshore drilling operations in Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea on 11 July 2019 [Turkish National Defence Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Cyprus on Friday accused Turkey of violating international law by launching operations off the island in search of oil and gas, reports Reuters.

Earlier on Friday, Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay was quoted as saying the drilling ship Fatih had started operations off the north-north-east coast of Cyprus.

On Monday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures against Turkey over its drilling activities around Cyprus.

“The fact that these new illegal actions of Turkey were announced on the same day that a new framework of EU sanctions took effect – is a display of extreme and provocative contempt towards international and European law,” the Cypriot presidency said in a statement.

Cyprus, an EU member, was divided in a Turkish military operation in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Its internationally recognised government first discovered offshore gas in 2011. Turkey says that some areas Cyprus operates in are either on the Turkish continental shelf, or in areas where the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state has rights over any finds.

Earlier in October the US warned Turkey against drilling off the Cypriot coast saying:  We’ve told the Turks that illegal drilling is unacceptable and we’ll continue to take diplomatic actions to … ensure that lawful activity takes place.”

READ: Cyprus buys Israeli military hardware