Turkey vows to prevent foreign drilling in 'our sea'

To protect continental platform off Cyprus even with military

11 December, 16:48

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 11 - Turkey will stop other countries from drilling at sea in search of fossil fuels in the area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea that it considers its continental platform, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

    Cavusoglu told the pro-government A Haber news channel that Turkey "has the right to prevent" any unauthorized drilling in waters that it says fall within its own continental shelf.

    When asked whether Turkey could use military means to stop such drilling, Cavusoglu said "of course." Cyprus has claimed that Turkey is operating in its exclusive economic zone, where Nicosia has granted exploration licenses to several foreign companies including Italy's ENI.

    A recent controversial agreement between Turkey and Libya has also increased the maritime boundaries claimed by Ankara, including for drilling purposes. Cavusoglu said that Turkey would not seek out tension and that it would use an approach that ensures the rights of both parties in reference to possible talks with Cyprus and Greece on the issue.(ANSAmed).

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