Greece, Greek Cyprus should refrain from actions against drillship: Ruling AKP spokesperson
The Turkish army is protecting the drillship “Fatih” in the Mediterranean and the Greek and Greek Cypriot administration should refrain from any actions against it, said Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Ömer Çelik on Oct. 31.
Turkey’s gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean is being carried out on legal grounds, Çelik said while addressing a news conference in Ankara.
“Block 7 is in Turkey’s continental shelf,” he said.
The Greek Cypriot Administration wants to invite foreign energy firms for natural gas exploration in block 7, which is one of the blocks located in unilaterally declared Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.
Çelik said any attempt from Greece to gradually widen its territorial waters will result in a “strong” response from Turkey.
Turkey embarked on a search for oil and gas in the east Mediterranean on Oct. 31. The drillship “Fatih” (Conquerer in English)—named after Ottoman Sultan Mehmed, who conquered Istanbul—began exploratory drilling off Antalya in the EEZ east of Cyprus.
“Fatih” set sail at a time when tensions are rising between Turkey and Greece over natural reserves and drilling activities in the Mediterranean Sea.
“We will protect our rights and the rights of the [Turkish] Republic of Northern Cyprus until the end and against those who attempt to take unilateral, illegitimate steps that are unfair to Turkey,” said Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez during a tour of the drillship on Oct. 30.