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Turkey threatens energy multinationals
Turkish oil and gas exploration ships will soon begin drilling activities in the seabed near the northern, occupied, part of Cyprus, a senior Turkish Cypriot official stated on Wednesday.
Ozdil Nami, the economy and energy "minister" of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is not recognized by the international community, said that "We will protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots."
He also added that they would "take the necessary steps on the issue of natural gas, just as we do on other issues."
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that Turkey will begin drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus in the coming days, according to the Anadolu news agency.
Ankara’s move could stoke tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece, according to Reuters. Turkey and the internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research and exploitation in the eastern Mediterranean.
"In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying in a speech to a business conference in western Turkey’s Aydin province.
In a threat aimed at the large energy multinationals, Cavasoglu said, "Let those who come to the region from far away, and their companies, see that nothing can be done in that region without us. Nothing at all can be done in the Mediterranean without Turkey, we will not allow that," Cavusoglu declared.
"Large discovery" off Cyprus
Meanwhile, the American energy giant ExxonMobil is expected to announce the discovery of a large gas reserve in plot 10 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) next week, according to Cyprus’ Sigma Live news network.
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