The spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy stated that Turkey will start its own drilling operations in ”licensed areas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. Aksoy was responding to a question regarding the commencement of drilling operations by the American-based Exxon Mobil company inside Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Turkish Foreign Ministry repeated its warning to all companies which take part in Cyprus’ natural gas and oil exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, stating ”all the natural resources around the island of Cyprus belong not only to the Greek Cypriot side, but to both sides” adding that this activity is a ”unilateral search and extraction conducted by the Greeks”, referring to Greek Cypriots.
Aksoy also noted that the American company’s drilling operations ”will change certain sensitive balances in terms of solving the Cyprus problem”, adding that ”sharing the natural resources of the island of Cyprus is a matter of the essence”.
This announcement comes a week after the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Francis Fannon’s statement from Cyprus that ”the US strongly supports Cyprus’ right to develop its resources”.