Row over Cyprus's gas reserves escalates

A Turkish ship has been drilling for gas in Cypriot waters since Friday. Cyprus has issued an international arrest warrant against the ship's crew, and the EU, the US and Israel have also criticised the operation. The gas reserves discovered off the Cypriot coast in 2011 are fuelling tensions between Ankara and Nicosia. Cypriot commentators voice their concern.

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Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Another violation of international law

Ankara will go unpunished again, Cyprus Mail fears:

“By sending Fatih to the Cypriot EEZ it has done just that, creating a fait accompli in the seas, not dissimilar to the occupation of the north of Cyprus. There is no shortage of UN resolutions on Cyprus that have never been implemented and we fear we will face the same situation with regard to our EEZ, no matter how many statements of solidarity or support are issued by the EU and other countries. This may well be just one more time Turkey … has violated international law at the expense of Cyprus with impunity.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

Ankara's fear of missing out

Phileleftheros examines Turkey's strategy:

“Ankara believes that it is losing the competition for energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and is therefore trying to hinder the activities of the Republic of Cyprus. According to Erdoğan's logic this can be achieved by calling the legitimacy of the Republic of Cyprus into question, undermining its sovereignty and confronting it with a fait accompli. It has decided not to normalise relations and seek an agreement on the Cyprus problem but instead to drill in an area where it has no licence to do so.”