Third Turkish drilling rig ready to sail into Eastern Mediterranean

The ship will sail after the coronavirus quarantine of its crew is over

A third Turkish drilling rig is ready sail into the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the pro-government newspaper “Yeni Safak”.

According to the newspaper, “Kanuni”, the third drilling rig in Turkey, which was bought a few months ago, is in the port of Seleucia, Antalya, while its crew has been quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to “Yeni Safak”, as soon as the quarantine phase is over, the preparations for the departure to the Eastern Mediterranean will begin.

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“Kanuni”, which means “Legislator”, refers to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and is the third drilling rig in Turkey, after “Yavuz” and “Fatih”. The ship is said to have a drilling capacity at a depth of 11,400 metres and can drill to a depth of 3,000 meters.

The Greek and Turkish navies were recently in tense “face-off” in the region when the Turkish survey vessel Oruc Reis, escorted by a small flotilla of warships, going in and out of the Greek territorial waters following an illegal NAVTEX issued by Turkish authorities. Escalation into a military conflict was averted after a series of diplomatic moves by the Greek side and pressure put on Turkey by international bodies and countries.