Ahead of Friday’s crucial meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has announced that a second exploration vessel will be dispatched to the Eastern Mediterranean by the end of August.
“In August, our second seismic vessel, the MTA Oruc Reis, will also be sent to the Mediterranean. So we will continue to do our research and drilling activities in the Mediterranean with the two seismic and the two drilling vessels,” Donmez told reporters on the Yavuz drillship off the northeastern coast of Cyprus Wednesday.
Ankara said on Tuesday that the Yavuz had already begun drilling activities south of the Karpasia Peninsula.
Turkey’s increased activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone is seen as a bid to put pressure on Anastasiades before Friday’s talks.