Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Air Algérie crash site located, France sending military unit

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Europe

Turkish ship sets sail for controversial oil exploration

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-23

A Turkish ship set sail for Cyprus Friday on an oil exploration mission, amidst increasing tensions with Greek Cypriots over rights to hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

REUTERS - A Turkish oil exploration vessel left the Aegean port of Izmir on Friday to carry out surveys off northern Cyprus amid tensions with Greek Cypriots on the divided island over rights to hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

There was no sign of a Turkish naval escort for the Piri Reis and its 10 crew as the vessel set out, although Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had raised the possibility of such a security measure earlier this week.

Regional tension rose after Cyprus's Greek Cypriot government announced on Tuesday that drilling had begun in a southeast offshore area adjoining a gas field in Israeli waters reputed to be the world's largest find in the past decade.

Texas-based Noble Energy is carrying out the drilling in the Cypriot block. Speaking in New York on Thursday, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said more blocks could be thrown open for exploration over the next 12 months.

Turkey contests an Cypriot-Israeli accord signed last year to create exclusive economic zones in the waters between them.

It also argues that Cyprus should not be exploiting natural resources until a settlement is reached between the Greek Cypriot government and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state for the reunification of the island, and that any revenues should benefit both communities.

Christofias gave assurances this week that any money earned from a gas find would be used for the good of both sides regardless of whether a settlement had been reached.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan touched on the dispute in an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.

"Turkey expects to see that all parties involved make efforts so that the Greek Cypriot administration ends initiatives that cause tension not only in the island but the region," he said. "Otherwise, we will do what we have to do."

In retaliation, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot administration signed their own continental shelf agreement on Wednesday, permitting state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to start exploration north of the island.

And last week, Erdogan said Turkish warships could be sent to the eastern Mediterranean at any time and Israel could not do whatever it wants there.

Turkey invaded north Cyprus in 1974 after a short-lived Greek Cypriot coup. It still maintains a heavy military presence in the north of the island, which is split by a ceasefire line patrolled by U.N. peacekeepers.

Cyprus, represented by the Greek Cypriot government in the European Union, has stalled negotiations for Turkey to join it.

Turkey's relations with Israel have soured in recent weeks after Israel refused to apologise following the release of a U.N. panel's report on the killing of nine Turks in an Israeli commando operation to stop an aid ship bound for Gaza, a Palestinian Islamist enclave under Israeli blockade, last year.

Date created : 2011-09-23

  • CYPRUS

    Cyprus offshore drilling begins despite Turkish threat

    Read more

  • ENERGY

    Turkey threatens to retaliate if Cyprus proceeds with drilling plans

    Read more

COMMENT(S)