The South Cyprus government has issued a statement condemning the fact that Turkey is carrying out seismic surveys in waters which the South claims as its own territory.
Turkey issued a NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) notification to shipping that it would be conducting seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean between 22nd November and 18th December.
NAVTEX broadcasts weather reports and also issues warning of any unusual activity at sea.
The South’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday, that Turkey’s activities were illegal since they were taking place in South Cyprus territorial waters which belong to the ”Republic of Cyprus”. Turkey does not recognise the “Republic of Cyprus” and disputes its claims over territorial waters.
Turkey’s current activities in the region are being closely monitored, say the South’s ministry which added that it will undertake “all due actions to protest the new violations by Turkey of the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictions of the Republic of Cyprus in its seas.”
South Cyprus said that it is also considering “further ways of conveying the message to Ankara that it is not in its interests to continue undermining stability and security in the region and violating its legal obligations towards all members of the international community.
Despite Turkey’s delinquent behaviour, the Republic of Cyprus will continue undistracted its activities for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in its seas, through the duly licensed by the Republic of Cyprus oil and gas companies, always acting in accordance with the relevant provisions of the International Law of the Sea and its national legislation,” the statement read.
Turkey’s move to deploy three research vessels in the eastern Mediterranean follows a statement of intention to do so issued by Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz in late September and one week after South Cyprus decided to put up for auction offshore blocks 5 and 6, lying south-west of the island in an area which Turkey claims falls within its own continental shelf.