ANKARA

Turkey announced on Wednesday that it had laid two streamer cables on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea bed as part of its ongoing hydrocarbon exploration activities.

“By Aug. 23, a total 1,750 kilometers of streamer (seismic cable) was laid under the Mediterranean Sea for two-dimensional seismic exploration,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Twitter.

Turkey’s seismic research vessel, the MTA Oruc Reis was “x-raying the seas.”

As part of the country’s hydrocarbon surveying activities, Turkey released a NAVTEX (navigational telex) on Aug. 10, 2020, announcing that the Oruc Reis would begin conducting fresh seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Oruc Reis will continue its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with the Cengiz Han and Ataman vessels until Aug. 23.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the UK — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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