Cyprus: "Turkey violates international law"

The Turkish Cypriot presidency said on Friday that Turkey's sending a drilling vessel to a special area of Nicosia to explore marine hydrocarbons is a "sharp escalation" of Ankara's violations of the island's sovereign rights.

According to Reuters - Cyprus on Friday said Turkey’s action in sending a drillship to an area Nicosia has licensed for offshore hydrocarbons exploration was a ‘severe escalation’ of what it called Ankara’s violations of the island’s sovereign rights.

Turkey has sent an oil and gas drilling ship to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded exploration rights to Italian and French companies.

The statement also urged Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and use its natural resources within its maritime areas.

"It is further evidence of the provocative and aggressive behavior of Ankara, which has chosen to stand up to international legitimacy, thus endangering security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean, the statement said.

On Friday morning, the Yavuz drilling vessel stopped about 51 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus.


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