Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Turkey accused of obstructing gas drill ship in Mediterranean

Drilling rig Greece Accuses Turkey of Violating Int'l Law by Obstructing Drilling in CyprusCC0
Sammy Stanley | 15 February, 2018, 15:37

Greece's foreign ministry condemned what it said was Turkey's disregard for worldwide law and the "blatant violation" of Cyprus' sovereign rights.

A similar incident occurred on January 17, when a Turkish vessel bumped onto a Greek Navy cannon vessel in the area, AMNA noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of the island in response to a Greek military junta-sponsored coup.

On Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry issued a statement accusing Greek Cypriots of unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and said that Turkey would continue to protect its own interests. Greece and Turkey are both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but the administration of Cyprus has been a source of tension ever since they fought a war over its control in 1974.

In 1996, the dispute over the territorial affiliation of the two rocky islets of Imia in the Dodecanese archipelago in the Aegean Sea led to a crisis in relations between Greece and Turkey.

For its part, Turkey's foreign ministry asserted that the Republic of Cyprus' exploration lease at Block 3 violated the "inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people" and the sovereignty of Turkish Cyprus.

Police procession for fallen Westerville officers; Flags at half-staff
Records show the 30-year-old Smith and his wife, Candace, owed almost $120,000 at the time of bankruptcy filing last summer. Our police officers risk their lives to protect the lives and property of others on a daily basis across our nation.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, meanwhile, said he hoped to find a "shared solution, respecting worldwide law and in the interests of Eni, the countries in the region and of the two Cypriot communities".

European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva on Monday cautioned Turkey to respect the territory of EU member states and to avoid ratcheting up tensions.

"Turkey needs to commit unequivocally to neighborly relations and avoid any kind of source of friction, threat or action directed against a member state".

On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a firm warning to the Republic of Cyprus.

"From the beginning, we told the Greek side "Don't do such things and also don't get us in trouble". "They are standing up to us until they see our army, ships and planes", he said.

Christoulides said the government had also received reassuring calls from other energy companies with a license to exploit riches in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone.

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