Turkish gas drilling in Cyprus' EEZ is an "act of piracy"



The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Turkey’s announced intention to continue drilling inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

On Sunday, the Turkish Defense Ministry on their website said its drillships – the Fatih and the Yavuz – and research vessels Barbaros and Orucreis were continuing their activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. It also added that the Turkish navy is providing security from both the air and sea.

“We unequivocally condemn Turkey’s newly declared illegal drilling within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus; drilling that, in fact, Turkey plans to carry out in fields that have been licensed, via the proper legal procedures, to European energy companies,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said.

“This is yet another provocation that ignores the calls of the EU and the international community for respect of international legality and of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. It also confirms, once again, Turkey’s destabilising role and its standing as the principal violator of International Law in the region. We reiterate that repeated and persistent violations of international legality do not produce any legal effects or create accomplished facts,” it added.

“We express our undivided support and complete solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus, and we again call on Turkey to respect international law and desist from actions that undermine security and stability in our common neighbourhood,” it concluded.

The Cypriot government also released a statement following Turkey's announcement.

“This new illegal ‘act of piracy’ constitutes a further severe violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus, contrary to international law,” the statement said.

The latest actions is the sixth time in less than a year that Turkey moved to drill in Cyprus' EEZ, after dispatching the first warship-escorted drill ship in July 2019.

Meanwhile, Turkey's military deployment in the region "puts peace and security in the east Mediterranean at risk”, the Cypriot government said.