The Turkish drillship ‘Fatih’ on Thursday was apparently en route to the port of Antalya, southern Turkey, having left a location west of Cyprus where it had been anchored since May.
Vessel tracking website Marine Traffic showed the vessel was headed in a northeasterly direction toward the Turkish coast.
In early May Turkey sent the Fatih to waters well inside Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, at a location about 60km west of Paphos.
The site was dubbed the ‘Finike1’ borehole.
A second Turkish drillship, the Yavuz, is still operating inside Cypriot economic waters, in offshore block 7.
The Yavuz arrived in block 7, which the Republic of Cyprus has licensed for gas exploration, in early October. It is expected to remain there until January 20.
Turkey disputes Cyprus ownership of fossil fuels in the area, arguing that Turkish Cypriots are entitled to a share of the resources. Ankara also has its own claims in the area.
Turkey’s incursions into Cyprus’ EEZ have drawn condemnation from the European Union, but to date the bloc has stopped short of slapping sanctions on Ankara.