Turkey’s Foreign Ministry warns against drilling in its territorial waters

A statement Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has been published in response to the third international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration by the Greek Cypriot administration. It reads as follows:

“The companies bidding for the third international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration by the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) in some areas within its so-called exclusive economic zone were announced on 27 July 2016.

“As emphasized by our press release of 25 March 2016 regarding this issue, an important part of the area number 6 in the so-called license areas remains within the continental shelf of Turkey and foreign companies are not allowed to conduct unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities within our maritime jurisdiction areas.

“Moreover, the agreement reached in the intensified negotiations for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus is that after a possible settlement, natural resources of the Island shall be within the competence of the federal government. It is of concern that the Greek Cypriot side, which should consider the Turkish Cypriot side as its future equal partner, continues to act as if it were the sole owner of the Island and insists to carry on with its unilateral acts, despite the said agreement.

“We reiterate our call on all countries and companies, which may consider conducting hydrocarbon exploration works on the basis of illegal and invalid licenses within the so-called exclusive economic zone of the GCA, to take into consideration the legitimate, equal and inalienable rights of Turkish Cypriot side and to act with common sense. We also reaffirm that Turkey will take all necessary measures to protect its rights and interests in its continental shelf.”

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release

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