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Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters that “no one” should attempt to test either the Turkish government or the country's history, a less than veiled reference to the Republic of Cyprus’ interest in its offshore potential natural gas deposits.
The waters and its resources between Cyprus and Turkey are an issue of contention and Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kouzano Marcoullis recently said, "Turkey would not dare to do anything."
Yildiz commented that no subsea hydrocarbon exploration could be conducted in the region as its borders remained undetermined, telling journalists, "I say this noting that we, too, could have rights in a Mediterranean whose exclusive economic zones and borders are as yet undetermined. They cannot conduct explorations just by signing deals with firms," Istanbul’s Hurriyet newspaper reported.
The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Dervis Eroglu said, "It is a huge mistake just to take action regarding solely Greek Cypriots’ intentions on an issue that closely concerns the whole island's future and that can affect the permanent status, i.e. the oil and gas issue," further commenting that as the eastern Mediterranean was a "semi-closed" sea according to international law, all countries sharing coastline there should be consulted about developing offshore resources.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com