Turkey announced that drilling off Karpasia is expected to start within a week, reports said on Saturday.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told Turkish news agency Anadolu that Turkey’s second drillship, the Yavuz, is expected to start drilling off Karpasia within the week.
At the moment, the Yavuz is docked in Mersin in southern Turkey for refueling and final checks, Donmez said.
“Within a week we will start the first drilling with the Yavuz in the Eastern Mediterranean in Karpasia, in the area we have been licensed by the TRNC,” Donmez said.
In early May Turkey sent its first drillship, the Fatih, to waters well inside Cyprus’ notional exclusive economic zone, at a location about 60km west of Paphos. Ankara said drilling has begun.
The government said this week it has initiated legal proceedings against three companies cooperating with the state-owned Turkish petroleum company TPAO for encroaching on the island’s continental shelf.
An official said that the government would do the same with the Yavuz.
Last month, the European Council summit announced that the EU had adopted the recommendation by President Nicos Anastasiades for concrete support in restraining illegal Turkish drilling activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The EU28 leaders called on the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to submit “options for appropriate measures” against Turkey “without delay” due to the country’s refusal to conform with international law and EU calls for restraint with regard to its drilling activities.
Turkish top officials however, declare that Cyprus cannot stop them and will continue carrying out drillings in what they classify as their own continental shelf.