|Content Type||News, Overview|
Reports on the tension in the eastern Mediterranean region as Turkish military blocked a rig from reaching a location off the coast of Cyprus, where an energy company was scheduled to drill for gas.
Cypriot authorities announced on 11 February 2018 that Turkey had decided to obstruct a vessel contracted by Italian oil company ENI which was approaching an area to explore for natural gas.
While the Turkish government called the incident an unilateral move by Greek Cypriots that violated the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots, the European Union (EU) urged Turkey to refrain from any 'threat' against Cyprus. Greece accused Turkish authorities of violating international law and condemned the country's 'provocative conduct'.
Later, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots and warned Cyprus not to 'overstep the mark' in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Council of the EU strongly condemned Turkish illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean on 16 July 2019. In full solidarity with Cyprus, EU diplomats unanimously agreed to respond to these illegal actions. The Council recalled and reaffirmed previous conclusions, including the conclusions of 22 March 2018 and the conclusions of 20 March 2019 on Turkey to refrain from such actions and to respect the sovereignty of Cyprus. However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the same day that Turkey will send a fourth ship to Eastern Mediterranean as part of its hydrocarbon drilling activities, despite the decision of the European Council.
|Countries / Regions||Cyprus, Northern Africa, Turkey|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|