By Nikos Stelgias
Turkey will drill its first natural gas well in the Mediterranean sea by the end of October said Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez.
The location of the drilling however has not been announced. Dönmez also said that Turkey will continue exploration for additional energy deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey will carry out the drilling with a vessel renamed "Fatih" (Conqueror). At the same time, it has officially launched actions to acquire a second drilling rig.
The move comes at a very critical juncture for the Cyprus issue and shortly before a new exploratory drilling by the Republic.
It is noteworthy that in the past, the Turkish Cypriot leadership had referred to the importance of cooperation between the two communities in energy issues, in order to avoid tension. The Turkish Cypriot side proposes the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the decision-making mechanism for natural gas planning and sharing the profits in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.
At the same time, Ankara sends its own warning, stressing that it will not allow actions that will challenge its own territorial waters.