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Cypriot Leader Castigates Turkey for Further Drilling in Coastal Waters
The Turkish-flagged drill ship ‘Yavuz’ prepares to search for natural gas off the western coast on Cyprus in July 2019 while accompanied by a Turkish warship. (Turkish National Defense Ministry - handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Cypriot Leader Castigates Turkey for Further Drilling in Coastal Waters

The president of the Republic of Cyprus has accused Turkey of using “bullying” behavior in sending a drilling vessel yet again to search for oil and gas in waters the island nation claims are its own. “This new provocation is exemplary of Turkey’s defiance of the European Union’s, and the international community’s, repeated calls to cease its illegal activities,” a statement issued on Friday by the office of President Nicos Anastasiades said. “It is yet further proof of the utterly provocative and aggressive behavior of Ankara, which has chosen to speedily and irreversibly depart from international legality, thus putting security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean at risk.” The Yavuz arrived earlier in the day in waters claimed by Greek Cypriots as their exclusive economic zone under a United Nation’s mandate. Both the Yavuz and another drilling vessel led to tensions earlier this year when working in the same waters. Cyprus was divided into Greek and Turkish sectors in 1974, with only the former being recognized internationally.

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