Creating new perspectives since 2009

Turkey operating in 7 areas in East Med

June 9, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih is anchored off the Tasucu Port in Silifke district of Mersin, Turkey on 1 February, 2020 [Mustafa Ünal Uysal/Anadolu Agency]

In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey determined to operate with seven licensed areas  for natural sources exploration and drilling under the recent Libya pact, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced yesterday.

Speaking during a television interview, Donmez said that Turkey has completed six drilling studies in the Eastern Mediterranean so far, while the Yavuz drilling vessel is conducting a seventh in the Selçuklu-1 location to the west of Cyprus.

Donmez stated that Turkish drilling procedures fall under two categories: the licensed areas that are issued by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to Turkey and the licensed areas that are issued by the Turkish Republic to Turkish Petroleum – Turkey’s national oil company.

“Turkish contractors are very familiar with the region and currently two big Turkish private firms are constructing two new big electricity production plants,” he said, adding that these projects could become operational in one or two months.

READ: Turkey’s efforts to delimit its maritime boundaries have prompted a colonial response

The Greek Cypriot government, however, continues to threaten Turkey over its actions, with backing from the European Union.

Yesterday, President Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview to Politico Europe that

if Turkey does not tone down its aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, it should no longer be considered a candidate for EU membership.

Last November, Ankara and Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a pact drawing the maritime boundaries of the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The following month, Greece and Greek Cyprus announced that this pact for drilling activities was illegal.

Last month, the foreign ministers of Greece, Greek Cypriot, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates signed a declaration to denounce ongoing Turkish activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as “a clear violation of international law”.