The European Union has imposed sanctions on two high-ranking officials from the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) in connection with Turkey's illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, it emerged on Thursday.
The restrictive measures to be imposed on Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and Ali Coscun Namoglu consist of a ban on travel to the EU and an asset freeze, the Cyprus Mail reported. Moreover, EU persons and entities are not permitted to make funds available to the two individuals, it said.
The decision was made public on Thursday in the EU’s Official Journal which referred to Akalin as Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and head of TPAO’s exploration, research and development and information technologies departments and to Namoglu as TPAO’s deputy director of exploration involved in planning and overseeing TPAO’s offshore hydrocarbon exploration activities.
According to the EU Council, “unauthorized drilling activities” were carried out by the TPAO drilling vessel Yavuz off Cyprus in July, September and October last year and in January and by the Fatih vessel between May and November last year. It added that the TPAO “has also announced further planned drilling activities to be carried out, without the authorization of the Republic of Cyprus.”