By KEREM HASAN
A SIMMERING stand-off over hydrocarbons drilling in the eastern Mediterranean reached boiling point this week as it emerged Greek Cypriot courts had issued “arrest warrants” for Turkish workers on the Fatih drillship sent by Ankara to seek hydrocarbons in disputed waters off Cyprus.
The news sparked a major reaction in Turkey and the TRNC, as analysts expressed grave concern that the spike in tensions between Ankara and South Nicosia could lead to conflict.
Fuelling the fears, Greek Cypriot Democratic Rally (Disy) party leader Averoff Neofitou predicted “Turkey will toughen its stance” after a Greek Cypriot government “source” was quoted as saying that “arrest warrants have been issued for more than 10 [people on Turkish Petroleum (TPAO)'s Fatih vessel] by Greek Cypriot courts, with some of them being converted into European arrest warrants”.
Other sources in the South said warrants had been issued for at least 25 people.
Tensions have been rising inexorably since the Greek Cypriots announced a deal last month with US giant Noble Energy to modify their contract on the production and sharing of hydrocarbons resources.
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