Despite statements from Turkey that it would be guilty of “insolence” if it issued arrest warrants for the crew of a Turkish drill ship, Cyprus went ahead and did just that on June 13.
The ship is anchored close to the coast of Cyprus where it is allegedly infringing exclusive territory over which Nicosia has rights to explore for oil and gas.
“We can confirm that warrants were issued. It’s a double digit number,” a Cypriot official was cited as saying by Reuters, declining further comment.
Turkey said on June 10 that the arrest warrants would “cross the line”, with a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman saying: “No one should have any doubt that the necessary response will be given, in case of such an insolence.”
Ankara insists that the Turkish Cypriots that since 1974 have controlled a breakaway territory in the north of Cyprus are entitled to an equal share of oil and gas resources around the island.
Turkey claims territory off the west of Cyprus is part of its continental shelf.
The EU and US have warned Turkey not to drill for oil and gas in the defined exclusive economic zone claimed by Nicosia.
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