Turkey will not stop looking for gas in the Mediterranean

By Administrator on Aug 22 in Offshore Drilling, Offshore Oil and Gas.

Turkey is at odds with EU members Greece and Cyprus over energy resources and jurisdiction in the region, and tensions erupted last year when Turkish and Greek military frigates escorted hydrocarbon-seeking vessels, Reuters reported.

Speaking in the northwestern province of Sakarya, Erdogan said Turkey had received “natural gas signals” in the eastern Mediterranean and vowed to continue defending Turkey’s rights in the region.

“Whatever our rights, we will carry out our oil exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, around Cyprus and all these seas,” he said, without specifying or scheduling.

EU leaders had threatened punitive action against Ankara for its offshore activities but later froze the plans after Turkey withdrew a research ship from the disputed waters.

(Turkish drilling vessel Fatih) Image source:dailysabah.com

Since then, Ankara has been working to re-establish ties with the bloc and Athens.

After Turkey returned its ship, Oruc Reis, to port in November amid threats of EU sanctions, Ankara has resumed direct talks with Athens after a five-year hiatus. The two sides have held two rounds of talks since January but said no immediate results should be expected.

Erdogan’s comments came a week after the EU pledged 3.5 billion euros for Turkey to continue accepting Syrian refugees until 2024. Ankara later dismissed the amount as insufficient and called on the bloc to take concrete steps to boost cooperation.

Brussels and Ankara also disagree on the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Bуavuşoğlu warned on Thursday that the country would resume operations in the Eastern Mediterranean if the EU and the United Nations do not take steps to share Cyprus fairly, after informal UN talks in April failed.

Ankara supports the breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration in the north and is the only country that does not recognize the Greek Cypriot government in the south.

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