Under the title “Warning for Block 6”, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (13.04.17) reports that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak has referred to Israel’s explorations and drillings for hydrocarbon resources in the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and alleged that Block 6 of Cyprus’ EEZ is a “law collusive area registered by Turkey at the United Nations”. In statements to Kanal 24 television, Albayrak claimed:
“If you invite tenders for a law collusive area, there will definitely be legal sanctions, various consequences for this. And from the point of view of the firms which will enter there. As a matter of fact, some firms with which we have met, really exhibited a distanced approach on this point both because this will not contribute to peace, to Cyprus and to the area and because of Turkey’s suggestions that if there is a value there it should be taken care of after these processes concerning the island are solved. However, if this does not happen, let no one be offended, Turkey from now on will not be behaving like the old Turkey in the Mediterranean. Turkey will be more effective and active. Therefore, it will behave more actively on the point of drillings, including seismic ones, in our own areas and on similar and further points. Until today we have been always behaving positively, constructively. This is the way we will be behaving from now on as well. We will take the necessary steps. Let me tell you Turkey’s strategy. Turkey has not held and will not hold any work outside the law in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. However, we should know the following: Until today we have not operated a very active process even in our own areas, because there were economic analyses, there were many issues, we had priorities. [?]”
Furthermore, Albayrak said that Turkey’s MTA Oruc Reis ship is going to the Mediterranean next week to hold seismic explorations. Moreover, Barbaros Hayrettin will be in the Black Sea.
Describing as “unacceptable” the recent actions of the Republic of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, Albayrak alleged that this will not have any benefits for Cyprus and the firms which have entered into this area, because “a law collusive area will bring you more harm than benefit”. “We will see this”, he argued and claimed:
“There is something else. We talk about peace, but like in 2004 during the Annan Plan, on the one hand you talk like this and on the other you pave the way of south Cyprus in a manner which will negatively influence peace. At the point we came today, the negotiations, the process is at the point of being interrupted.