Turkey renews threat against Cyprus offshore gas exploration

TAGS: Turkey, Cyprus, Energy, Diplomacy

Turkey’s prime minister has renewed a threat against efforts to search for offshore gas around Cyprus.

Turkey opposes what it says are “unilateral” efforts to search for gas, saying they infringe the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the ethnically split island's resources.

Binali Yildirim said Wednesday during a joint news conference with Tufan Erhurman, the so-called "prime minister" of the breakaway north of Cyprus, that “provocative activities will be met with the appropriate response.”

Yildirim's comments were in response to reports that an ExxonMobil vessel was heading toward the Mediterranean, coinciding with exercises in the area involving the US Navy.

Last month, Turkish warships prevented a rig from reaching an area southeast of Cyprus where Italian company Eni was scheduled to drill for gas. [AP]