Cyprus authorities are expected to issue on Tuesday evening a navigational telex or NAVTEX, responding to an illegal warning issued earlier today by Antalya Navtex Station, extending the drilling operations of Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” in block 6 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) until October 12.
As CNA learns, the Turkish NAVTEX concerns the same location within Cyprus’ EEZ, where “Yavuz” arrived last April, to carry out illegal drilling operations. Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus are aware of the latest NAVTEX and are expected to issue an anti-NAVTEX later this evening, according to standard procedure.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Ankara sent on several occasions its seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), following the Republic of Cyprus’ decision, in 2011, to start exploratory offshore drilling. After May 2019, Turkey caused a stir by sending consecutively two drill ships, “Fatih” and “Yavuz”, to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, at times in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies.
Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” arrived last April in the ΕΕΖ of Cyprus, after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to European companies. This is the 6th time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, this time in an area licensed to ENI and TOTAL.
The European Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and in February 2020, placed two persons under restrictive measures, in relation to Turkey`s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.