Turkey has begun seismic surveys in waters offshore South Cyprus after issuing a NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) notice to mariners advising that it was reserving areas south of Cyprus from 20th October to 20th December. Part of that sea area extends into the [South] Republic’s exclusive economic zone where foreign oil companies are drilling.
The Greek Cypriot Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides confirmed to CyBC radio this morning, that Turkish seismological research vessel ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha’ had set sail from Silifke/Mersin last night and entered [South] Cyprus’ EEZ at 6.30 am, accompanied by two support vessels and possibly a war ship. He said that Greek Cypriot authorities were monitoring the situation.
The minister described Turkey’s marine activities in the area as illegal and provocative, adding that it violated the law of the sea and undermined security in the region. He also said [South] Cyprus was obliged to defend its sovereign rights based on current conditions.