Cyprus: Turkey gas drilling bid is 'severe escalation'
October 4, 2019
A warship-escorted Turkish drill ship is set to start searching for gas in waters off southern Cyprus. The Cypriot government criticized Turkey for "utterly provocative and aggressive behavior," vowing to fight the move.
In a statement, the Cypriot government said the arrival of the Turkish drill ship Yavuz was "utterly provocative and aggressive behavior" and violated international calls to defend Cyprus' sovereign rights.
"Illegality, no matter how often it's repeated, does not generate law," the government said.
The government added that it plans to fight the move and raise its concerns with the European Union.
A Turkish diplomat told Reuters news agency that drilling operations are set to begin on October 7.
Cyprus has been divided into the Republic of Cyprus, where people speak Greek, and a northern part under Turkish military control since 1974, when Turkey invaded in response to a coup by a Greek military junta.
The Turkish part is recognized only by Ankara; the predominantly Greek south is part of the EU.