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Politics

Turkish Drilling Off Cyprus Ripped by Greece, Egypt, France, UAE

It hasn't worked yet but demands Turkey stop drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters were joined by Greece – again – as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE.)

That came during a teleconference to review Turkish activities in the East Mediterranean as well as other regional crises that threaten peace and stability in this region, said Kathimerini, a situation unchanged.

In their joint declaration issued after the teleconference, the ministers said these activities represent “a clear violation of international law” as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – which Turkey doesn't recognize.

The declaration about Turkey operating in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) near where foreign companies were licensed by the legitimate government to hunt for energy was swiftly rejected by Turkey's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.

He told Turkey’s state-run Anadolou Agency, he said the other countries should butt out, Turkey claiming sovereignty over the same seas as it has occupied the northern third of Cyprus since an unlawful 1974 invasion.

Aksoy accused the five countries aligned against Turkey of “seeing no harm in sacrificing the democratic aspirations of the peoples to the callous aggression of putchist dictators,” without explaining what the meant as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has near-dictatorial powers.

Turkey is currently in its sixth attempt in less than a year to conduct drilling operations in Cyprus’ EEZ, where the foreign companies licensed by Cyprus have stopped work 

The five ministers also condemned the escalation of Turkey’s violations of Greek national airspace, including over flights of inhabited areas and territorial waters and blasted “the instrumentalization" of migrants by Turkey in an attempt to illegally cross Greek land borders as well as "its continued support for illegal crossings” of Greek sea boundaries as well. 

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