An Israeli vessel conducting research activity on the Turkish continental shelf off the coast of Cyprus was blocked by the Turkish navy two weeks ago, Israeli sources reported on Saturday,
According to reports, Bat Galim, an Israeli vessel was conducting research activity jointly with Greek Cypriot scientists on the Turkish continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish navy approached the vessel and requested the captain to provide information about their activity. The navy later demanded the vessel cease operations and leave Turkish Cypriot waters.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
The unilaterally declared its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Greek Cypriot administration violates part of Turkey's shelf, particularly in Blocks 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup took place after decades of violence against the island's Turkish community and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K. that collapsed in 2017.