Turkey will continue drilling for gas in waters off Cyprus if the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government does not accept a cooperation proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriots, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.
Cavusoglu said a proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that both parties on the divided island cooperate in exploration and exploitation of gas could contribute to stability and peace in the eastern Mediterranean.
In an article for the Cyprus Post, Cavusoglu said that until Greek Cypriots adopt the proposals set out by Akinci on Saturday to work with Turkish Cypriots, Turkey would continue operations in areas where Turkish Cypriot authorities have licensed it to work “with determination and without change”.
Turkey’s Fatih ship started drilling off western Cyprus in May. A second drilling ship, Yavuz, arrived off the northeastern coast last week.
Ankara says that Greek Cypriot authorities cannot make agreements about maritime economic zones or energy exploration on behalf of the whole island. It also says that the seas around Cyprus lie on its own continental shelf, notes reuters
It is worth noting that Cavusoglu’s blackmail comes as the European Union will approve sanctions against Turkey for its illegal drilling off Cyprus.