Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel says Turkey intercepted, forced its ship out of Cyprus waters

December 16, 2019 at 9:35 am

Special operation unit of the Turkish Navy, Under Water Offence (SAT) commandos lands on TCG Gaziantep during ‘Blue Homeland 2019’ naval drill in Antalya, Turkey on 28 February 2019. [Mustafa Çiftçi – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish navy ships intercepted an Israeli research ship sailing off the coast of Cyprus two weeks ago and forced it to leave the area, Israel’s Channel 13 reported.

The television station quoted senior Israeli officials as saying that the Turkish naval vessels approached Bat Galim ship, of the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institution, while it conducted research in coordination with Cypriot officials and inquired about the purpose of its mission in the area, then ordered it to leave.

According to the report, the Israeli ship had no choice but to leave despite obtaining the Cypriot government’s approval to conduct the research.

The nature of the ship’s research in the area was not disclosed.

Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Accord have recently signed a maritime border agreement in the eastern Mediterranean fuelling tension with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.

READ: Why Libya’s maritime accord with Turkey has ignited anger