Turkey will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities on its continental shelf, within which Cyprus’ block 6 falls, it said in a letter which came to light on Tuesday to the United Nations’ general assembly dated April 12.
In the letter, permanent representative to the United Nations Feridun Sinirlioglu expresses Turkey’s “grave concern regarding the provocative act by the Greek Cypriot Administration” – as it calls the Republic of Cyprus – to grant a licence for block 6 of its exclusive economic zone, which “partially falls within the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean”.
“Turkey is committed to protecting its sovereign rights emanating from international law and will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities on its continental shelf, as it was strongly underlined in several statements on the issue by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most recently on 6 April 2017,” the letter said.
The block 6 licence was awarded to a consortium of Italian and French oil giants Eni and Total.
Reacting to the letter, Cyprus’ permanent representative to the UN Cornelios Corneliou told the Cyprus News Agency that it is merely a “repetition of Turkey’s position, which we certainly reject”.
“Our reactions will continue in every possible forum,” he said.