Turkey Needles Greece Carries Out Illegal Gas Drilling Off the Course of Cyprus

Greece and Turkey are on loggerheads again. This time it issues over undertaking gas drilling operations. Greece has just received its new Prime Minister and President as Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Under his leadership, Greece is being called a ‘spoilt child’ by going against international laws and indulging in illegal drilling. Maybe, Turkey is trying to gain its attention back, a nation which has been feeling ‘increasingly marginalized in the east Mediterranean, as Cyprus is also cooperating with Israel and Italy, along with Egypt.’ In January Cairo hosted leaders from the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories who attended a gas forum for the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey was left out.

The incident comes to light following the arrival of a second Turkish ship off the coast of Cyprus to drill for natural gas. Greece’s new government has condemned Turkey of these drilling activities and urged Ankara to end its violation of international law. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has said that Greece in violating Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and Ankara is not in tandem with international laws.

“We condemn Turkey’s attempted illegal drilling within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus,” theGreek Foreign Ministry represented by Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a statement to the media.“We express our full solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus and we call once again on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities and to respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus.”

The United States has sided with Greece and also commented on that Turkey’s dispatch of a second drillship to Cyprus was a ‘provocative step’ that could heighten tensions and called on Turkish authorities to halt drilling operations.

Egypt, which signed a maritime border demarcation agreement with Cyprus in 2013 to search for oil, is also left concerned over Turkey’s activities and can see that tension is increasing in the region.

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