Highlighting Ankara’s intentions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said Monday that the Yavuz vessel will be ready set sail to the area in July in order to begin drilling activities.
He added that the Yavuz is set join the Fatih drillship, which is currently illegally located in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Both our vessels, the Fatih and the Yavuz, will carry our flag to the Eastern Mediterranean,” Donmez said, and reiterated that Turkey will continue to protect its interests in the area and that of the Turkish Cypriots in the occupied north of the island.
Donmez also said that the Oruc Reis survey vessel is conducting research in the Sea of Marmara – that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea – and that the Barbaros research vessel remains off the southern coast of Cyprus.
According to information collected by Athens over the last two months, the Oruc Reis and the Barbaros will be used by Ankara to further boost its claims in the continental shelves of Greece and Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the head of the Greek military delegation which held talks in late May with Turkish officials on reviving confidence-building measures between the two countries resigned on Monday.
Lieutenant General Nikos Zachariadis, who heads the Defense Ministry’s General Directorate of National Defence Policy and International Relations, was quoted by the Law & Order website as saying it wouldn’t be appropriate for the Greek delegation to head to Ankara for a second round of talks, considering that Greece will hold elections in about four weeks.
He reportedly told the website that talks should be interrupted until the elections are completed and the new government is briefed.