Turkey has protested over the Greek Cyprus’ decision to issue international arrest warrants for crew members of Turkish drilling vessel “Fatih” and officials at firms partnered with state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TP) and vowed to retaliate by taking legal action on the matter.
“We are closely monitoring the news about Greek Cyprus’ issuing arrest warrants for our crew members in Fatih drilling vessel and officials of foreign firms partnered with TP. If this presumptuous decision of Greek Cyprus, which usurps every right of Turkish Cypriots, is true, then it will have no validation for us,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 10.
“Turkey will resolutely continue on its drilling activities as planned, both to protect its rights in its continental shelf and to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots, an equal partner to the island,” it stressed.
Greek Cyprus authorities issued international arrest warrants against 25 people including crew members of the Turkish drilling vessel and officials from foreign firms partnered with TP, local media reported.
The Turkish-flagged drillship Fatih launched its offshore drilling operations on May 3 in an area located 75 kilometers (around 41 nautical miles) off the western coast of the island.
The area falls entirely within the Turkish continental shelf registered with the U.N. and under permit licenses that the Turkish government granted to Turkish Petroleum in previous years.
Turkey wants to see energy as an incentive for a political resolution on the island and peace in the wider Mediterranean basin rather than a catalyst for further tensions.