Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkey may be acquiring a third drillship, it emerged on Thursday.
Speaking at a broad meeting of the district heads of his Justice and Development party (AKP), Erdogan said that “if today we have a say in the gas exploration developments [in the Eastern Mediterranean], we owe it all to our drillships and seismic survey ships.”
Erdogan noted that Turkey now owns two drillships, the Fatih and Yavuz, and two seismic survey ships, the Barbaros and Oruc Reis, while “a third drillship might also be acquired.”
All four ships are currently stationed off the coast of Cyprus, with drilling operations underway by both the Fatih and Yavuz on the west and east coasts of the island respectively, with protection being provided by Turkey’s armed forces
“We don’t look to what one or the other says in the Eastern Mediterranean, we look at what we say,” Erdogan asserted. “Our ships are in the area. All our frigates are near them. Our airplanes are ready at any moment.”
Erdogan reiterated that “no one can impose themselves on Turkey”, which has rights in the area as a guarantor power, he said.
“And these rights we will defend until the end,” Erdogan said.