NICOSIA – With Turkey drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, the Turkish-Cypriot side that has occupied the northern third of the island since 1974 invasions, protested the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government for doing the same.
Turkey’s pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah, that’s a propaganda mouthpiece for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the self-declared republic unrecognized by the world said the Greek-Cypriots have no right to hunt for energy in their own waters.
Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots don’t recognize Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and Turkish ships have been in the waters ignoring European Union sanctions exempting Erdogan and anyone of importance.
The Greek-Cypriot administration’s Energy Ministry said Italy’s Eni and TotalEnergies of France began drilling an exploration gas well off the coast of the island as they are licensed to do.
The Tungsten Explorer drillship arrived on location southwest of the island on May 23 and started drilling work on the Cronos-1 prospect, the ministry said, the paper also reported.
“We condemn the drilling activity conducted by the Greek-Cypriot administration in the unilaterally declared so-called block 6,” the Turkish-Cypriots so-called Foreign Ministry said, although it has no world standing.
A statement said that the Greek-Cypriot administration – whose offer to share 30 percent of any energy revenues was rejected – violated rights of the Turkish-Cypriots who want a hand in licensing and a bigger share of money.
“We expect the Greek Cypriot administration to positively respond to our proposal and cease its unilateral activities immediately,” it said. “If it fails to do so, as the Turkish Cypriot side, we will continue resolutely to undertake hydrocarbon activities in the blocks licensed in 2011 on the basis of our inherent rights. There should be no controversy in that,” the statement said.
The Greek-Cypriot administration said that drilling activity in the sixth block of the so-called EEZ had resumed, after Eni and TotalEnergies postponed their operations in the Eastern Mediterranean in May 2020 over the COVID-19 pandemic.