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Turkey threatens Cyprus not to explore its
Cyprus defied threats from Turkey and sent the Greek-Cypriot
research vessel Nautical Geo to conduct seismic surveys in its
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Friday.
The vessel, under Maltese flag, has entered block 1 of the EEZ,
south of Limassol. Nautical Geo belongs to a company of Italian
interest and it carries on its research in the framework of the
EastMed pipeline project, which is funded by the EU with the
participation of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Israel.
Last Thursday Turkey accused Greece and Cyprus of taking
“steps that increase tensions,” threatening to intervene in any
Nicosia action to drill in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Tanju Bilgic spoke of an attempt to send
research ships to the “Turkish continental shelf.”
Bilgic said that Ankara was responding to the challenges both on
the field and at the table [of negotiations] and would not allow
the rights it claims to have to be violated. He also said that
Ankara “will continue to give answers” if Cyprus starts drilling.
Earlier, in an interview with TRT World, Turkish Foreign Minister
Mevlut Cavusoglu said that in the Mediterranean the “legal
rights” and “sovereignty” of Ankara are non-negotiable”, and he
threatened Cyprus with “hard power”.
“We use hard power when all other choices are exhausted and in
order to drive things to dialogue and diplomacy. In the Eastern
Mediterranean, we mobilized in order to demonstrate that our
legal rights and our sovereignty are non-negotiable. At the same
time, our President Erdogan issued a call for a conference of
coastal states of the Mediterranean,” Cavusoglu said.
“It is an oxymoron, to say the least, that a country which
threatens to declare war on Greece, violates the sovereignty of
Greece and of the Cyprus Republic, and which utters
unacceptable and provocative statements and threats, at the
same time accuses us of destabilizing the Eastern
Mediterranean,” a diplomatic source said Friday.
“Our country will continue to act with the exclusive purpose of
defending its national interests and of promoting security and
stability in the wider region, guided by respect for international
law and, in particular, the International Law of the Sea,” the
source said, rejecting Turkey’s claims as “baseless.”
Last week Greece, Egypt and Cyprus have warned Turkey to stop
taking unilateral actions in the eastern Mediterranean during a
summit of their leaders in Athens.
The declaration of the 9th Trilateral Summit of Greece-Cyprus-
Egypt sent a message to Turkey to refrain from provocations and
unilateral actions that violate international law, stressing that the
threat of violence, cannot have a productive dialogue with
Adelaide, South Australia