Tension between Turkey and Cyprus over gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean

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Publication Date 2018-
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Summary:

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.

Further information:

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.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Kathimerini 13.02.18: Dangerous moves by Turkey http://www.ekathimerini.com/225771/opinion/ekathimerini/comment/dangerous-moves-by-turkey
The Conversation, 28.02.18: Scramble for gas in eastern Mediterranean is stoking old tensions in the region https://theconversation.com/scramble-for-gas-in-eastern-mediterranean-is-stoking-old-tensions-in-the-region-92070
Wikipedia: 2018 Cyprus gas dispute https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Cyprus_gas_dispute
Cyprus Mail, 16.06.19: Cavusoglu: no need to take EU measures seriously, Turkey sending fourth ship https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/07/16/turkey-says-eu-decisions-will-not-affect-its-energy-activities-off-cyprus/
Euro|topics, July 2019: Gas off Cyprus: EU imposes sanctions against Ankara https://www.eurotopics.net/en/223360/

News
Euronews, 11.02.18: Tension between Turkey and Cyprus over gas search http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/11/tension-between-turkey-and-cyprus-over-gas-search
Hürriyet Daily News, 11.02.18: Turkey slams Greek Cyprus over gas drilling works as tensions increase in eastern Mediterranean http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-greek-cyprus-over-gas-drilling-works-as-tensions-increase-in-eastern-mediterranean-127132
EUObserver, 12.02.18: EU warns Turkey over 'threat' to Cyprus https://euobserver.com/foreign/140954
EurActiv, 13.02.18: EU warns Turkey over Cyprus ship incident https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/eu-warns-turkey-over-cyprus-ship-incident/
Hürriyet Daily News, 13.02.18: Greek Cyprus should not 'overstep mark' in eastern Mediterranean http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/greek-cyprus-should-not-overstep-mark-in-eastern-mediterranean-127245
Reuters, 13.02.18: Erdogan tells Cyprus not to test Turkey over gas standoff https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1FX0XZ
Deutsche Welle, 13.02.18: Turkish warships block drilling rig near Cyprus http://p.dw.com/p/2sZiO
Kathimerini, 13.02.18: Turkish actions off Imia islets raise the stakes http://www.ekathimerini.com/225810/article/ekathimerini/news/turkish-actions-off-imia-islets-raise-the-stakes
Kathimerini, 13.02.18: Athens accuses Ankara of fueling tension in the region http://www.ekathimerini.com/225785/article/ekathimerini/news/athens-accuses-ankara-of-fueling-tension-in-the-region
Cyprus Mail, 14.02.18: Cyprus solution would resolve dispute says UNSG http://cyprus-mail.com/2018/02/14/cyprus-solution-resolve-dispute-says-unsg/
Euro|topics, February 2018: Ankara blocks gas drilling off Cyprus's coast https://www.eurotopics.net/en/194337/ankara-blocks-gas-drilling-off-cyprus-s-coast
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 20.03.18: Gas and Gunboats Around Cyprus http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/?fa=75838
Euronews, 13.05.19: Tensions mount over Turkey’s drilling off Cyprus https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/tensions-mount-over-turkeys-drilling-off-cyprus/
Euronaews, 19.06.19: EU warns Turkey over ‘illegal’ drilling off Cyprus https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-warns-turkey-over-illegal-drilling-off-cyprus/
Politico: 12.07.19: EU draws up measures against Turkey over Cyprus drilling https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-draws-up-measures-against-turkey-over-cyprus-drilling-oil-gas-mediterranean/
Euronews, 16.07.19: EU sanctions Turkey for drilling off the coast of Cyprus https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/16/eu-sanctions-turkey-for-drilling-off-the-coast-of-cyprus
Hürriyet Daily News, 16.07.19: Turkey to send fourth ship to East Med, despite EU sanctions decision http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-send-fourth-ship-to-east-med-despite-eu-sanctions-decision-145005

Official
Council of the EU, 15.07.19: Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Council adopts conclusions https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/07/15/turkish-drilling-activities-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-council-adopts-conclusions/

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