Turkish drillship Yavuz has started drilling off Karpasia, while Turkey’s armed forces provide protection for the country’s vessels operating off the island, reports said on Tuesday.
According to Turkish daily Sabah, the Yavuz has started operations off Karpasia. Drilling operations are expected to last three weeks, the paper reported.
The Yavuz is the second drillship dispatched by Turkey in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The first drillship, the Fatih, has been positioned off the west coast of the island since May. Ankara said drilling has begun.
As regards Fatih’s operations, the paper reported drilling activity is expected to continue for a few more weeks. The drill rig has reached approximately 5,000 meters from sea level, it said.
In the meantime, seismic research ship Oruc Reis is expected to also travel to the Eastern Mediterranean to support the Barbaros in seismic research, it said.
The paper reported that the Turkish armed forces have dispatched submarines, unmanned aerial vehicles and warplanes in the area to provide round the clock protection to the drilling and research vessels.
News of the drilling comes as Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez is in the north for a one-day visit.
Donmez was to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar and energy and economy ‘minister’ Hasan Tacoy.