EU welcomes Yavuz withdrawal


The European Commission has welcomed Turkey’s withdrawal of the Yavuz drill ship from the sea area where it was operating southwest of Cyprus as a sign of de-escalation.

During a press briefing Monday, the Commission’s foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano described the move as “an important signal.”

“The departure constitutes another welcome step towards de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean,” Stano said. “We hope for similar and further moves in this direction,” he said.

Shipping data from Monday morning showed Yavuz, which launched operations east of Cyprus in July last year, as being near the port of Tasucu in Mersin province.

Cypriot government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said Monday the vessel’s withdrawal was a positive step but cautioned it was not known whether the withdrawal would be short-lived.

Meanwhile, the seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa remains off southeastern Cyprus.