The Cypriot government called Turkey’s deployment of a survey vessel to drill for hydrocarbons near the island an “act of piracy” and a breach of its rights, Associated Press said.
“This new illegal ‘act of piracy’ constitutes a further severe violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus, contrary to international law,” the Cypriot government said on Monday.
The Cypriot government called on Turkey to halt operations in its exclusive economic zone. The Turkish government does not recognise the mainly Greek Republic of Cyprus, rejects its right to exploit the resources around the island and has deployed research vessels to the Cypriot EEZ six times in the past year.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s military deployment in the region “puts peace and security in the east Mediterranean at risk”, the Cypriot government said.
Ankara has been locked in a bitter dispute with Athens and Nicosia over the island’s EEZ and drilling hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Ankara objects to Cyprus and Greece’s efforts for gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean and says the northern Turkish Cypriot state – which is only recognised by Turkey – should receive a fair share from gas resources of the disputed island.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 into predominantly Greek south, whose government is internationally recognised, and the Turkish north, whose sovereignty is only recognised by Ankara.