Turkey has warned they will continue drilling for gas in waters off Cyprus if the Greek Cypriot government does not accept a cooperation proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriots.
Tensions in the region have risen after Turkey told energy firms not to work with the Greek Cypriot government, and sent two ships to drill off the island. Cyprus issued arrest warrants for the crew of one of the ships, and the European Union is discussing curbing contacts and funds for Turkey in response.
In an article for the Cyprus Post, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that until Greek Cypriots adopt the proposals set out on Saturday to work with Turkish Cypriots, Turkey would continue operations in areas where Turkish Cypriot authorities have licensed it to work “with determination and without change”.
Turkey’s Fatih ship started drilling off western Cyprus in May. A second drilling ship, Yavuz, arrived off the northeastern coast last week.
According to Ankara, Greek Cypriot authorities cannot make agreements about maritime economic zones or energy exploration on behalf of the whole island. It also says that the seas around Cyprus lie on its own continental shelf.