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Turkey Moves Another Energy Drill Ship Toward Cyprus

Αssociated Press

FILE - Turkey's 230-meter (750-foot) drillship 'Yavuz' leaves the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, on its way to the Mediterranean, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

NICOSIA - Showing no signs of easing up on provocations during the worldwide COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Turkey sent another energy drillship, the Yavuz, toward areas off Cyprus to join two others hunting for oil and gas.

A Turkish warship was escorting the vessel, said the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and Kathimerini Cyprus, after Turkey issued a navigational telex (NAVTEX) warning other ships to steer clear of the Yavuz.

The Turkish energy research vessel was headed to an area between Blocks 6 and 7 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) reserving the area for its own operations until July 8 as Turkey continues to dispute Cyprus' sovereign waters.

A military source not identified told CNA that Yavuz sailed late the night of April 19 from Tasucu port and was expected to be off Cyprus the afternoon of April 20.

Cypriot authorities are also expecting Turkey to issue a notice to airmen (NOTAM) as helicopters will need to land and take off from the drillship to transfer staff. That led Cyprus to issue a NAVTEX in response as Turkey keeps up plans to drill without any significant sanctions from the European Union it's been trying to join since 2005.