Cypriot media citing diplomatic sources have said that Turkey’s Fatih drillship will be starting work on offshore gas exploration in the bay of Antalya.
The news comes as a surprise to warmongers who were meticulously looking for conflict by generating sensationalist media stories.
Truth be told Turkey’s research vessels, including the infamous Barbaros, continue to operate in disputed waters between Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt.
The issue of ownership over offshore resources in the Eastern Mediterranean strictly speaking is not just about the unresolved Cyprus problem. The geographic characteristics of the Aegean sea and the proximity of the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo to Cyprus, barring an agreement on EEZ delineation with Turkey, mean that Turkey’s EZZ is in fact quite limited.
A few numbers can put the issue into perspective. According to UNCLOS, an EEZ can be established up to 200 nautical miles, which is 370 km. The distance between Cyprus and Kastellorizo is only 270 km. At the same time the Antalya peninsula is only 200 km from Akamas.
It is important to note that Barbaros is operating at the geographical centre between Antalya, Alexandria, Paphos and Crete, as a response to a recent summit between Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.
Kathimerini reports that information on the size of Block 10 hydrocarbon deposits which will be conducted by Exxon are highly anticipated by Turkey and will determine future steps.