Turkey issued a new Navtex (Notice to Mariners) on Saturday saying that its drillship ‘Yavuz’ will continue its work searching for energy resources offshore Cyprus.
The Navtex said that the drillship will operate between August 18 and September 15 along with Turisih naval vessels the ‘Ertugrul Bey’, ‘Osman Bey’ and ‘Orhan Bey’ vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean, southwest of Cyprus.
“It is strongly recommended not to enter the working area,” the Navtex warned.
In its turn South Cyprus issued its own Navtex saying that Turkey’s Navtex was unauthorised and invalid, adding that ‘Yavuz’ operations and its accompanying vessels presence in the region are illegal.
Recently, Ankara said it would postpone its oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture. However, Turkey resumed its search for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime delimitation agreement.
Turkey and Greece have long disputed who has exclusive economic rights around the small islands close to Turkey’s coastline.
Turkey also reiterated that energy resources around Cyprus must be shared fairly between the two Cypriot communities.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Greece to respect Turkey’s rights, saying that the only way to solve the dispute is through dialogue and negotiation.
AA News Agency