Cyprus says Turkish drilling flouts international law

Cyprus has accused Turkey of breaking international law by launching drilling operations off Cyprus. The Cypriot presidency said on Friday November 15th that “the fact that these new illegal actions of Turkey were announced on the same day that a new framework of EU sanctions took effect is a display of extreme and provocative contempt towards international and European law”.

Earlier that day Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay had confirmed that drilling ship Fatih had started operations off the coast of Cyprus, between the island and Turkey.

Earlier in the week the EU Foreign Affairs Council had adopted a framework for restrictive measures against Turkey over those drilling activities.

The internationally recognized government, which controls the southern part of Cyprus discovered gas offshore in 2011. Turkey has said that some of the areas in which Cyprus is operating are either on the Turkish continental shelf or in areas where the Turkish Cypriot state has drilling rights.