Turkey’s capital is under a lot of political and economic stress and under such condition they have stressed that they will move towards further regional tension after announcing the start of oil and gas exploration in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean days after U.S. company ExxonMobil dispatched its survey vessels to the area- to which President Tayyip Erdogan said “Turkey will not allow the exploitation of gas reserves in Turkish waters and in northern Cyprus,” the eastern Mediterranean.”
Turkey opposes Cyprus for oil exploration, arguing that this contradicts its rights. Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey “will never accept such attempts to exclude our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” according to the Associated Press.
The Turkish president has also declared that “he will not tolerate the prospect of reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots at a time when his country is engaged in conflicts elsewhere, not least against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.”
Last month, Turkish warships were ordered to prevent drilling operations by ENI, an Italian energy company commissioned by Cyprus’s government, in what was seen as a brazen act of brinkmanship.
“Hopefully it has been instructive for some who saw an opportunity to act unilaterally when Turkey is engaged in anti-terrorism operations elsewhere,” Erdoğan said of the gunboat diplomacy on Tuesday, adding that Ankara would be deploying its own newly acquired drillship to the waters off Cyprus imminently.
There’s a lot of expectation as Mediterranean’s potential can grow into a profitable gas-producing hub after geological surveys pointed out to the vast reserves present around Cyprus. If unlocked, the resources could reshape energy geopolitics, transforming the region economically and lessening Europe’s – and Turkey’s – dependence on Russia for gas.
“Our approach is to keep calm and go on,” the Cypriot government spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, told the Guardian. “We cannot accept Turkey interfering and creating problems in what, as underlined by the EU, is a sovereign right to exploit our natural wealth.”