Turkey Resumes Energy Exploration In The Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Sends A Drill Vessel First Time In Two Years

On Tuesday, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean sea. Ankara sent the Abdulhamid Han drill vessel in its first-ever eastern Mediterranean energy exploration mission in about two years, per an AFP report.

The ship was sent to an undisputed area, around 55 km toward the south of Gazipasa. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, chose to ignore Cypriot and Greek objections related to such missions.

Erdogan mentioned that Turkey had the right to explore energy in areas it considered to be its. The Abdulhamid Han symbolises Turkey’s new vision in the domain of power,” Erdogan mentioned per AFP. The sending-off ceremony was conducted in the city of Mersin.

Drill Vessel
Image for representation purpose only

Notably, the tensions between Turkey and Greece increased after Ankara sent out a seismic research vessel and a drilling vessel into contested waters. Cyprus and Greece claimed the seas. In August of that year, Turkish and Greek warships were reportedly engaged in a minor collision in the waters of the Mediterranean when they were on an exploration mission.

The area designated for Abdulhamid Han is the north of Cyprus, per AFP. This area is also distant from disputed regions. However, Erdogan warned that the vessel would go to other wells and continue its search for gas. He added that Turkey does not need anyone’s permission to conduct drilling activities in the Mediterranean in zones in the nation’s jurisdiction.

Earlier in March, Erdogan had let go of diplomatic relations with the prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as the latter reportedly opposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Both the countries are at odds regarding Cyprus.

References: Infra.com, DW, Times Now

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