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Turkey Lobs Soft Shot Across the Bow Over Cyprus Energy Drilling

December 9, 2019

NICOSIA – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkish drillships hunting for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, ignoring international law, will be protected by any means necessary, words that generally mean by force, with the country’s warships standing by.

Asked by a reporter after his speech at an event organized by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies in Rome whether Turkey would fire on anyone trying to stop the drilling, use force as regards its activities in the eastern Mediterranean, he said all measures would be taken to protect the Turkish vessels, The Cyprus Mail reported.

“We have done everything to find a solution, the Greek Cypriot side does not want an agreement,” he said as Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots rejected Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ offer to share 30 percent of any potentially lucrative revenues with his government having licensed international companies to drill for oil and gas.

Turkey doesn’t recognize parts of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone nor the United Nations Law of the Sea except when invoking that to protect its own interests and claims “We promoted this to the Greek Cypriots, Greece, the EU, the UN, everyone, but they don’t want cooperation hence I will send in my ships,” said Cavusoglu.

Turkey has ignored demands from Cyprus, Greece and the United States to stop as well as soft European Union sanctions as bloc leaders are reluctant to get tougher, fearful that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will unleash millions more refugees and migrants on the bloc through Greece in violation of a suspended 2016 swap deal.

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