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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Turkey slams Cyprus for QatarEnergy, Exxon Mobil exploration license

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Turkey has accused Cyprus of failing to comply with its continental shelf with an exploration license to QatarEnergy. 

Turkey has accused Cyprus of violating its continental shelf after it awarded Exxon Mobil and QatarEnergy (QE) Mediterranean exploration licenses, noting it will not permit unauthorised oil exploration in its jurisdiction.

This comes as part of a decades long conflict between Turkey and Greece surrounding territorial claims, air space, energy, the status of some islands in the Aegean, and the Turkish-Greek split island Cyprus.

Greece and Turkey disagree on the bounds of their continental shelves. In Cyprus, Turkey does not accept that the Nicosia government, which Istanbul does not recognise, has a continental shelf at all.

Cyprus said its Council of Ministers had agreed to grant the exploration license to Exxon Mobil and QE, formerly known as Qatar Petroleum, for hydrocarbon exploration in Section 5 of the island’s declared exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Read also: Turkey’s President Erdogan to visit Qatar next week

“A part of the license field in question violates Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“Just as before, Turkey will never allow any foreign nation, company or ship to carry out unauthorised hydrocarbon research in its maritime jurisdiction, and it will continue to defend the rights of our country and those of Turkish Cypriots,” the statement said.

The island Cyprus was split by during a Turkish invasion in 1974 that was triggered by a coup lead by Greek-Cyrpiot nationalists.

Turkey does not hold diplomatic ties with the globally-recognised Greek Cypriot government, but supports the Turkish Cypriot state in northern Cyprus.


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