Turkish natural gas drilling to start on July 18 off Cyprus: report

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In this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 photo, a helicopter flies over Turkey's drilling ship, 'Fatih' dispatched towards the eastern Mediterranean, near Cyprus. Turkish officials say the drillships Fatih and Yavuz will drill for gas, which has prompted protests from Cyprus. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP, Pool)

According to the Ankara-based Navigational TeleX (NAVTEX), Turkish drilling in Cypriot waters is expected to begin on July 18 and will continue until August 18, a move that is deemed illegal by the European Union, Greece and Greek Cypriots.

Officials at the Greek Ministry of National Defense consider it probable that the Turks will escalate their challenges in the near future, attempting a “loud” violation of Greece’s sovereign rights in order to test the reflexes of Athens and the EU, according to the Greekcitytimes news website.

Turkey has already announced its intention of sending a Turkish research vessel to either the area southeast of Crete or the area of Kastellorizo island.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu noted on Monday Ankara’s readiness to drill in the area with companies from Britain, Russia, Italy or the United States.

Athens is on high alert and is making a series of diplomatic moves to shield itself from the possibility of a war with Turkey.

Turkish Minute

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