Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Friday said Friday the country will start offshore drilling activities within Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) “in the near future,” unless the EU member-state halts its own operations in the area.
The statement came in response to an announcement by Cyprus on Friday that it has reached a deal with international companies on the distribution of revenues from natural gas exploitation at the Aphrodite field in the eastern Mediterranean.
The deal was signed with Noble Energy, Dutch-British oil, Shell and Delek.
“As long as the Greek Cypriot side does not cease its unilateral hydrocarbon activities or fails to include the Turkish Cypriots - as an equal owner of the Island- in decision making mechanisms and revenue sharing, Turkey will continue to protect the continental shelf rights of the Turkish Cypriots,” said Turkish Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy.
“To this end, our drilling vessels, Yavuz and Fatih, will commence drilling activities in the near future, in the areas where TRNC granted licenses to the Turkish Petroleum in 2011,” he added, referring to the Turkish-occupied north part of the island.