By KEREM HASAN
ONGOING controversy over offshore hydrocarbons exploration around Cyprus was raised by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay with UN officials in Geneva – as the Greek Cypriot Administration announced it had filed lawsuits against overseas firms cooperating with Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) on surveying and drilling.
The South Cyprus Foreign Ministry was reported as saying they were taking local action against unnamed companies over alleged infringements in their claimed Exclusive Economic Zone by the Turkish drillships, Fatih and the Yavuz.
Exploration blocks drawn up by the South partly overlap with parcels declared by Turkey and the TRNC under international maritime law, and a Navigational Telex (Navtex) declared by the Greek Cypriots for a naval exercise between Monday and Wednesday has been seen as an attempt to stop Turkish vessels entering waters south-west of the island, which come into the disputed area.
Reacting to the latest developments from the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “We are taking necessary steps within the law. However if they [Greek Cypriots] aren't going to recognise the law, then we know the sort of language they use and we know how to speak that language.”
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