Turkey warns Greek Cyprus on oil drilling ahead of Israeli PM visit
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AFP file photo
Turkey warned Thursday that it will not allow under any circumstances foreign oil companies to conduct unauthorized oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and will take all necessary measures to protect its rights in the areas within its continental shelf.
Turkey’s strong worded warning came after an announcement published in the EU Official Journal dated 11 February 2012 that the Greek Cypriot administration has called for a new international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation within its so-called economic exclusive zone.
“We protest this unilateral step, which is both irresponsible and provocative, taken by the Greek Cypriots despite all warnings,” read the written statement made from the Foreign Ministry. Recalling that the move came amid ongoing unification talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, the statement repeated that this sort of explorations should have been made after parties reach an agreement and form a new partnership.
“This situation would bring those international companies that might be interested in bidding for this illegal tender into confrontation with the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) and the TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) , and thus would lead to an undesired tension in the region,” the statement said.