EU to protest Turkish plans to drill near Cyprus’ coast


A Turkish ship planning to drill for oil and gas close to Cyprus dropped anchor off the island on Monday, triggering a strong protest from Nicosia and a rebuke from the EU, Reuters said.

EU leaders warned Turkey last month to end its gas drilling in waters around the island or face action from the bloc. The statement came after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

EU member Cyprus has discovered natural gas in areas off the south of the island, though nothing has been extracted. Turkey disputes the rights around the island to explore for gas, sending drillships of its own to stake a claim.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted by Anadolu on Saturday as saying the Yavuz drillship would start prospecting within a week.