“We are currently conducting the fourth drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. We’ll keep drilling until we find it [oil],” Fatih Dönmez said.
The minister’s remarks came during his speech in parliament’s planning and budget committee meeting.
Stressing that Turkey will defend both its own rights and the people’s rights in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Dönmez said: “The initiator of the present problem is the long-standing incompatible attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration”.
Before his speech, Dönmez has told reporters that works for an undersea electricity cable link and natural gas pipeline between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus are ongoing.
Although work continues for the cable line and pipeline to meet the island’s needs, the work schedule and completion date have not yet been set, he said.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the TRNC, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessels in the same region.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
In 2017, after two years of negotiations, the latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Cypriots also have similar rights to the resources in the area.
In recent years, a U.S. oil company discovered a gigantic gas field off the island’s south coast. Experts assume that it may hold 227 billion cubic meters of gas — a find worth approximately 40 billion euros (44.8 billion US dollar). When the Greek Cypriot side permitted international energy companies to extract the gas, they sent ships to explore the area. The Turkish side responded to this move sending two drilling ships to the area.
Hurriyet Daily News