Turkish Cypriots: ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa’ here to stay

The government of the Northern Cyprus, a self-declared state run by Turkish Cypriots, has announced that the Turkish vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa will continue to shoot seismic beams in Cypriot waters, despite objections from the official government.

The Turkish Cypriots’ foreign ministry said this was a response to  the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the Eni/KOGAS consortium is operating the Saipem 10.000 drillship, searching for natural gas.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognized by Turkey, said it had expected the Greek Cypriot side would end its ‘unilateral’ drilling activities.

“We regretfully observed that the Greek Cypriot side, through its notifications since 20 November 2014, not only carried its activities to a new drilling site and extended the on-going drilling period until 19 March 2014, but also decided on 30 December 2014 to expand the drilling site and extend its activities up until 29 March 2015,” the ministry said in a statement on January 6, 2015.

“As previously declared, the Turkish Cypriot side will not remain unresponsive to the unilateral activities carried out by the GCA which disregard the inherent rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people. In light of these developments, the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa vessel shall continue its activities in the region within the framework of the licenses given to TPAO,” the ministry said.

Furthermore, the Turkish Cypriots’ foreign ministry said it would, “with view to protecting the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to take all necessary steps within this framework, including commencement of drilling, in cooperation with Turkey.”

The seismic vessel in question is owned by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (“TPAO”), which the Turkish company bought in 2013 from Polarcus. The vessel was previously known as the Polarcus Samur.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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