In yet another blatant violation of Cyprus' sovereignty, Turkey on Thursday sent its Yavuz drillship to an area off the west coast of the island and within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to prospect for hydrocarbons.
The area, which is in Block 7 of the island's EEZ, has already been licensed for exploration to the French-Italian consortium of Total and Eni.
Completing ignoring EU warnings and sanctions and repeated US warnings, Turkish Defence Minister Fatih Donmez announced that Ankara's ultra-modern drilling ship Fatih has reached a depth of 5,000 metres in drilling to the west of Cyprus and that a second drilling ship, the Yavuz, will begin drilling in a few days off the coast of the Turkish-occupied Karpas peninsula, the north-easternmost tip
Ankara will dispatch the Oruc Reis research vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean in August, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has said.
The minister denied reports that the Fatih drillship has discovered natural gas in the region and said that it will complete its activities in three to four weeks.