Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Sunday that Turkey intends to send a second drilling vessel into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to conduct research for natural gas and oil reserves.
Albayrak declared that ”the Mediterranean Sea is no one’s father’s lake,” noting that any action or investment in the region without Turkey’s participation ”will not be viable.”
Speaking with CNN Turk, the Turkish official said that a second drilling vessel, named the ”Yavuz,” will soon be in the region of the eastern Mediterranean.
The Yavuz has been in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul for refurbishment and maintenance during the last several months.
Albayrak said that all the players in the region have already begun intensive research, and for this reason Turkey is ”following a different path, (and) has to enter into these procedures with our own vessels, our own technicians, our own experts, our own people.”
The Turkish minister referred again to the occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus as the ”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” He noted that this ”state” (which is recognized by no other nation) has its own territorial waters, along with those of the nation of Turkey itself, for which Turkey has shown a ”strong will” to protect.
Tensions in the area have been rising since Ankara decided to send its oil exploration vessel called ”Fatih” into areas which overlap with Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
Since that time, representatives from nearly every single global power has called on Turkey to refrain from such actions, and to respect Cyprus’ rights in the region.