FILE PHOTO: Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz units sail in Izmit Bay, on its approach to the Mediterranean Sea, off the port of Dilovasi, Turkey, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photograph
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey stated on Wednesday it rejected Greek and European Union assertions that Turkish drilling for gasoline and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate, and stated it confirmed the EU couldn’t be an neutral mediator on the Cyprus drawback.
The overseas ministry stated Turkey’s Fatih ship had began drilling actions to the west of the Mediterranean island firstly of Could and its Yavuz ship had lately arrived east of Cyprus and would additionally conduct drilling actions.
The Yavuz drillship dropped anchor on Monday to the south of Cyprus’ Karpasia peninsula, a jutting northeastern panhandle. It triggered a powerful protest from Nicosia and a rebuke from the European Union.
In June, EU leaders warned Turkey to finish drilling in waters across the island or face motion from the bloc.
“We reject the statements by the Greek International Ministry and EU officers which describe these actions of our nation as illegitimate,” the Turkish overseas ministry assertion stated.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a short Greek-inspired coup. A number of peacemaking efforts have failed and the invention of offshore sources has sophisticated the negotiations.
Ankara, which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, says that sure areas in Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone, generally known as an EEZ, fall beneath the jurisdiction of Turkey or of Turkish Cypriots, who’ve their very own breakaway state within the north of the island which is acknowledged solely by Turkey.
EU diplomats are assembly in Brussels on Wednesday to debate any doable sanctions on Turkey over the drilling earlier than EU overseas ministers meet on Monday.
Further reporting by Gabriela Baczysnka in Brussels, Reporting by Daren Butler; Modifying by Sarah Dadouch, William Maclean