In the midst of the economic crisis in Turkey, Athens is concerned over the possibility that Ankara might drill for gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to a Kathimerini newspaper report, the Fatih drilling vessel is very likely to move in the Karpas peninsula in northern Cyprus and the Gulf of Iskenderun, in a region where Turkey’s Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessel is conducting surveys.
The particular region is under Turkish occupation and has been under the complete control of Ankara since the 1974 invasion of the island.
Analysts argue that since the recent row between Ankara and Washington, a possible drilling expedition in Cyprus’ EEZ — where American, French and Italian energy companies are already active — will increase tension.
The Kathimerini report says that U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil is expected to begin drilling in Block 10 while developments are expected in Block 6, where Italy’s Eni and France’s Total have been active.