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First Turkish Energy Ship Drilling in Cypriot Waters Finishes

September 28, 2019

One of  two Turkish drill ships looking for energy in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) offshore – with Turkey defying calls to stop the operation – has finished its preliminary work and presented data for analysis, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said.

The hunt was done in Karpaz, off the northeastern coast of Cyprus, as Turkey said it would not stop despite a complaint from the legitimate government of the island where Turkey has occupied the northern third since an unlawful 1974 invasion.

Turkey disputes the right of the Cypriot government to license foreign companies to drill for oil and gas and doesn’t recognize parts of the island’s EEZ. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ offer to share 30 percent of revenues with Turkish-Cypriots was rejected.

In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Donmez said the ship, Yavuz, was back in port in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal province of Mersin and will depart for a new location in coming weeks.

“The Yavuz ship has finished drilling in Karpaz. The data there is being evaluated,” he said, the Reuters news agency reported.

“The ship is waiting in Mersin’s Tasucu port for preparations, supply and checks for the next operation.”  The second ship, Fatih, is continuing operations west of Cyprus, Donmez said.

Anastasiades’ pleas to the United Nation to intervene have been ignored and the Turkish drilling has ended, for now, any hopes of resuming reunification talks, more than two years after they collapsed at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

Those fell apart when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said a 35,000-strong Turkish army on the occupied territory recognized only by Turkey would never leave and they demanded the right of further military intervention.

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