Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday addressed the issue of natural gas exploration by South Cyprus. His comments were widely publicised in the Greek Press and received a terse response from the Greek Cypriot Commerce Minister Neoklis Silikiotis who said that they would continue their off-shore operations.
The Greek papers also noted that Turkey had just purchased a natural gas exploration ship from Norway.
‘Fileleftheros’ newspaper commented that this ship would be used by Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea around Cyprus in March.The ‘Polare’, it is claimed is undergoing sea trials at the moment.
The newspaper continues by saying that all these efforts are to send a message to foreign firms that are working with South Cyprus in exploration and production activities.
Turkey has suggested in the past, that future deals with oil companies who have signed contracts with the government in the south could be compromised.