Turkish drillship heading towards Cyprus EEZ (updated)

Turkish Drillship Heading Towards Cyprus EEZ
 © CyprusMail 2020

The Turkish drillship Yavuz is approaching the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Cyprus News Agency reported on Monday, accompanied by a Turkish navy frigate.

Turkey has reportedly issued a Navtex covering the area of block 6 and 7 of the island’s EEZ from Monday April 20 until July 18.
Quoting a military source, the CNA said the Yavuz set off at 11.30 on Sunday night from the port of Tasutzou and is expected to arrive in its destination later on Monday afternoon.
It has not been ruled out that speedboats will also accompany the vessel.
Spokesman for the Turkish ministry of defence Nadide Şebnem Aktop said on Monday that “Turkish armed forces would continue to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the ‘TRNC’ in the Eastern Mediterranean ensuring peace and security within the framework of international guarantees in Cyprus”.She added that air security support is offered to the Barbarous, Orouts Reis, Fatih and Yavuz that “continue their activities in the eastern Mediterranean in the framework of our legal rights as outline by international justice”.
Helicopters are expected to fly to and from the vessel over coming weeks to exchange staff.
The Cyprus government has issued an anti-navtex and is expected to announce on its radio channel the minute the Yavuz enters the EEZ.
Part of block 7 lies in what Ankara claims is its own EEZ.
The Yavuz was withing the island’s EEZ on more than one occasion last year.
The government has said that block 7 lies within the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, in a marine area to the south-west of the island, already delimited in accordance with international law, between the Republic and Egypt under the 2003 EEZ Delimitation Agreement.
“The exploration and/or exploitation of Block 7 is an exclusive sovereign right of Cyprus and does not affect the rights of any third state, including Turkey,” it said in October.
Last week Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara would continue drilling and even deploy a third drillship.
He said Turkey had told the EU, the UN and even Greece that the Greek Cypriots should not have carried out any unilateral activities when it comes to drilling or exploitation in the Eastern Mediterranean before reaching an agreement on a fair distribution of revenue with the Turkish Cypriots. Ankara’s position was however ignored, he said.
“For reasonable stability, the main goal should be for the two sides to come together on the island for a fair distribution of revenue, and the proposal of the Turkish Cypriot authorities represents the only logical and realistic basis for a solution,” he said, referring to the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal to jointly manage hydrocarbons planning simultaneously with negotiations on the Cyprus issue.


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