Turkiye’s fourth drill ship will launch operations in the Mediterranean in August, the country’s Vice President Fuat Oktay announced today.”Abdulhamid Han drill ship is planned to start operations in the Mediterranean next month,” Oktay told a ceremony held in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the occasion of July 20 Peace and Freedom Day.
With its technical equipment and physical features, Abdulhamid Han will serve as the strongest of the fleet in Turkiye’s “blue homeland” – a maritime region based on the country’s sovereign rights, the government says.
The vessel is 238 metres long and 42 metres wide and weighs 68,000 tonnes with a maximum drilling depth of 12,200 metres. It has a tower height of 104 metres and a crew capacity of 200.
Turkiye has been undertaking drilling activities in its waters over the past four years, in steps objected to by neighbouring Greece.
In August 2020, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey’s goodwill gesture in halting explorations.
Declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void“, Turkey authorised the Oruc Reis to continue activities in an area within Turkey’s continental shelf.
Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.
Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.
International law stipulates that disputed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZs) for islands between countries should be resolved through bilateral talks, which Greece and its allies have been rejecting, leaving coasts for Turkey which can only be used for swimming.