Turkey has launched a fourth drilling operation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the country’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has said, while stressing that, as a guarantor power on Cyprus, Ankara will protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots on the ethnically-split island.
“We are currently conducting the fourth drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. We’ll keep drilling until we find [oil],” Donmez said on Friday during a speech in Parliament on the ministry’s 2020 budget plans, Anadolu reports.
Donmez also reportedly blamed Nicosia over ongoing tension surrounding energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
“The initiator of the present problem is the long-standing incompatible attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration,” he was quoted by Anadolu as saying.
Before his speech, Donmez reportedly told reporters that work is underway on an undersea electricity cable and natural gas pipeline between Turkey and northern Cyprus.