The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has warned overseas oil corporations in opposition to vitality exploration close to Cyprus, describing these defying Ankara as “bandits of the ocean” who would face an analogous response as its foes in Syria.
Drilling for hydrocarbon sources off the coast of Cyprus, an EU member, is massively delicate. The northern third of the island is occupied by Turkey, which invaded in 1974 in response to a coup geared toward uniting the island with Greece. The breakaway portion was declared to be the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is recognised solely by Ankara. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island have failed.
“As we made the terrorists in Syria pay, we is not going to depart the scene to the bandits of the ocean,” Erdoğan mentioned on the commissioning of a Turkish warship, the TCG Burgazada.
Turkey has within the final two years waged profitable army campaigns in Syria in opposition to Kurdish militia and Islamic State jihadists, which have introduced components of the nation’s north below the management of pro-Ankara forces.
International vitality corporations similar to ExxonMobil, within the US, Italy’s ENI, and France’s Complete, have all mentioned they’re dedicated to vitality drilling close to Cyprus, in defiance of Erdoğan’s earlier warnings.
Erdogan mentioned: “Those that thought they may take steps within the japanese Mediterranean or the Aegean in defiance of Turkey have now begun to know what an enormous mistake they had been making. It’s completely unacceptable to usurp the pure sources of the japanese Mediterranean whereas excluding Turkey and the TRNC.”
Analysts have warned that the scenario is extraordinarily flamable and that one false transfer may result in a large-scale confrontation. In February a drill ship contracted by ENI to discover off the coast of Cyprus deserted its mission after Turkish warships blocked its path.