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Turkey will block any attempts to drill for hydrocarbons in its maritime territory

7 April 2017

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that it shares “the justified concerns and outrage felt by the Turkish Cypriots” regarding the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral exploration and exploitation contracts with international energy companies.

The move is “unacceptable,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

We find it as worrying as it is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot side persists on acting as though it is the sole owner of the island and continues with its unilateral activities, particularly in a period when they should be displaying strong political will toward establishing a new partnership with Turkish Cypriot people,” the ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, a delegation from Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum signed an agreement with the Greek Cypriot administration to explore for hydrocarbons in Bloc 10 in southern Cyprus.

It will be recalled that in the past, we have also repeatedly drawn attention to the problematic nature of activities carried out by hydrocarbon companies in maritime areas over which the Turkish Cypriots have rights,” it added.

Furthermore, a significant segment of one of the relevant areas, namely bloc number 6, falls within Turkey’s continental shelf. Foreign companies shall never, under any condition, be permitted to carry out unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in our maritime jurisdiction areas,” the statement said.

The statement said Turkey would continue to take all necessary measures to protect its rights and interests on its continental shelf as well as the rights and interests of Turkish Cyprus.

The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations led by the UN between the two sides.

Hurriyet

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