Turkish PM warns again against gas exploration off Cypriot coast


urkey’s prime minister has renewed a threat against the government of Cyprus’ efforts to search for offshore gas around the ethnically divided island.

Binali Yildirim said at a joint news conference with Tufan Erhurman, the prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state, on Wednesday, that “provocative activities will be met with the appropriate response.” Ankara opposes what it says are Greek Cypriots’ “unilateral” efforts to search for gas, saying they infringe on the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to the island’s resources.

Yildirim’s comments came after reports that an ExxonMobil vessel was heading toward the Mediterranean, coinciding with exercises in the area involving the US Navy.

ExxonMobil and French company Total are among several firms that Cyprus has licensed to search for gas off its southern coast.