Turkey has sent frigate TCG Gökçeada to monitor the drilling ship ‘West Capella’ that is thought to have started drilling activities to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, the military said in a statement posted Thursday.
The Turkish Armed Forces is watching the ship, which is contracted by Total France under license from the Greek Cypriot administration and has been evaluated as being capable of drilling activities.
The statement said that TCG Gökçeada (formerly USS Mahlon S. Tisdale) has been entrusted with the mission of observing the ‘West Capella’.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish-Cypriot state in the north and a Greek-Cypriot administration in the south after an Enosis-inspired 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people, resulting in Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power. The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.