Turkey warns 15 countries to stay away from Cyprus’ gas
TURKEY has warned 15 countries, including four permanent members of the UN Security Council, not to participate in the second licencing round for the remaining blocks in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), reported Turkish daily Aksam yesterday.
According to its online version, Ankara is “worried” about a second round of drilling in the eastern Mediterranean. Hence, the Turkish foreign ministry issued warnings on a governmental level to 15 countries, including Russia, China, France, the UK and Norway, which expressed an interest to participate in the second licencing round for oil and gas exploration in Cyprus’ EEZ.
The foreign ministry reportedly said in its warning: “We do not permit drilling in this controversial zone. If you do not want our ties to be deteriorated, withdraw the tender.”
Turkey argues that Cyprus should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of its natural resources without the Turkish Cypriots also sharing in that revenue. It also claims that part of Cyprus’ EEZ violates Turkey’s own continental shelf. Being one of the few countries not to sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Turkey refuses to acknowledge islands’ right to an EEZ.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal was quoted saying the blocks in Cyprus’ EEZ west of the island overlapped with Turkey’s continental shelf in the Mediterranean. (...)