Turkey warns Greek Cypriot against drilling in Eastern Mediterranean
ANKARA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Turkey warned late Thursday against the Greek Cypriot's ongoing drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, vowing it will "take all the necessary measures" in response to the island.
Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that the drilling activities "disregard the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people, the co-owners of the Island."
Turkey is determined to protect both its own rights and interests in its continental shelf and to continue its support to the Turkish Cypriot side, it added.
On Wednesday, the "West Capella" drilling vessel contracted by France's Total and Italy's ENI started exploring for gas off Greek Cyprus.The exploration well, "Onesiphoros West 1," is estimated to be completed within 75 days, Greek Cyprus's Energy Ministry said in a statement.
The move came days after the UN-led peace talks failed between two sides of the divided island.
"We cannot remain indifferent to these kinds of unilateral actions. At the moment, we are planning the steps we will take with our Energy Ministry," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference on Thursday, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Meanwhile, a frigate of Turkey's Naval Forces begun patrolling the eastern Mediterranean in a bid to watch the exploration activities of Greek Cyprus off the island.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish-Cypriot state in the north and a Greek-Cypriot administration in the south after an 1974 military coup. The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of talks that resumed in May 2015.[ Editor: meng ]