Turkey accelerates exploration in Eastern Mediterranean

Published 06.09.2019 00:18

The energy minister also elaborated on Turkey's ongoing hydrocarbon exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and highlighted that the country has fortified its presence in the region with two drilling vessels, the Fatih and the Yavuz, and two seismic vessels, the Barbaros Hayreddin and the Oruç Reis.

"We have secured a great momentum in our operations for the exploration of resources in the Eastern Mediterranean," Dönmez said.

"We will never allow the usurpation and appropriation of the rights of the Turkish community on the hydrocarbon resources in the island [Cyprus]. Turkey will continue to exercise its rights ensuing from the international law in its sovereign continental shelf," Dönmez indicated.

Turkey has been advocating the fair share of resources in the area with the inclusion of the Turkish Cypriots. However, the inability to find a political solution to the decades-long political conflict in the island has hampered any fair conclusion. The Athens-based news outlet Ekathimerini on Wednesday reported that Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has proposed the creation of an escrow account that would safeguard the Turkish Cypriot community's share from the natural gas proceeds. The proposal came up during a meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akıncı on Aug. 9.

According to the proposal, the amount deposited in the account will only be released if Turkey ends its provocations in the region by recognizing the Cypriot exclusive economic zone boundaries, which is in violation of the continental shelf of both Turkey and the TRNC.

Akıncı once again met with United Nations special envoy on the Cyprus Problem Jane Holl Lute yesterday, who has been respectively meeting both leaders since Sunday in order to complete her work on the "Terms of Reference" which would enable the restart of the negotiations.

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