Friday, February 23, 2018
News

Erdogan tells Cyprus not to test Turkey over gas standoff

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

ANKARA | Tuesday, Feb 13 2018 IST
 
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned Cyprus not to "overstep the mark" in the eastern Mediterranean, after Greek Cypriots accused the Turkish military of obstructing a vessel exploring for natural gas over the weekend.

Turkey, which does not have diplomatic ties with Cyprus, says some areas of Cyprus's offshore maritime zone fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or Turkish Cypriots, underscoring tensions in the broader eastern Mediterranean over competing claims for offshore resources.

"Our warships and security units are following all developments in the region with the instruction to do whatever is necessary," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament.

"We warn those who overstep the mark in Cyprus and the Aegean," he said. "They are standing up to us until they see our army, ships and planes," he said, comparing the situation in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus with the Syrian region of Afrin where Turkey is waging an offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades declined to comment on Erdogan's remarks but said there was no cause for worry.

Cyprus is one of several states, also including Israel and Lebanon, racing to tap gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greek Cypriots run Cyprus's internationally recognised government, while Turkish Cypriots have a breakaway state in the north - recognised only by Ankara - and say resources around the island belong to them too.

The area where the Saipem 1200 drill ship was headed, Block 3 of Cyprus's economic zone, is also claimed by Turkish Cypriots. Turkey's state-owned oil company also plans to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, ethnically partitioned between its Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

STANDOFFSaipem is contracted by Italy's state-controlled Eni , whose officials have confirmed the drill ship was stopped by Turkish ships on Friday afternoon because of a military exercise in the area.

Cyprus has seemed keen to downplay the standoff, which appears to be the worst escalation of simmering tensions since the island struck a small quantity of natural gas in 2011.

"There is no cause for anyone to be concerned. This is being handled in a manner to avert any possible crisis which could create problems either to the economy or to the state," President Anastasiades told reporters in Nicosia.

The European Union on Monday called on Turkey to avoid threats and "refrain from any actions that might damage good neighbourly" ties.

Eni and France's Total, partners in a Cyprus venture, announced last week finding a promising gas field off Cyprus. They said the find looked geologically similar to the Zohr field off Egypt, which holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, the largest field ever found in the Mediterranean .

Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a brief Greek-inspired coup. Peace talks collapsed last year. REUTERS AS1856

-- (Reuters) -- C-1-1-DL0386-1248978.Xml

Watch News Videos

 
  LATEST COMMENTS (0)
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
MORE WORLD NEWS
Canada flew celebrity restaurateur to In...
US Governor indicted over sexual miscond...
SKorea says approved visit by sanctioned...
Boeing, Lockheed interested in launching...
NKorea's Kim Yong Chol 'right person' fo...
Oil from sunken Iran tanker reached Japa...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
Kerala CM condemns murder of Adivasi you...
Delhi CS assault case: Bail plea of AAP ...
NPTEL ties up with Glass industry for bu...
Security tightened for PM's visit to cit...
Kejriwal conducts 'secret dealings' in r...
Sonakshi Sinha to play cameo in Navdeep ...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
'RBI Governor should quit after PNB... 
Sipping red wine may ward off your ... 
OnePlus captures 48% premium market... 
Bank unions defer March 15 strike... 
Delhi college suspends two students... 
Another JMB terrorist nabbed in Ben... 
Himalayan motor rally starts in Sil... 
Kerala CPI-M says its membership ha...