Citing Turkish diplomatic sources, the Dogan News Agency released the radio communication between the captain of the Italian drilling ship SAIPEM 12000 and the captain of the Turkish warship that blocked its route to plot 3 in the Cypriot waters on the February 9. The same Turkish sources were adamant that they would not allow gas exploration by Greek-Cypriots in the area.
According to Dogan, one of the Turkish warships headed towards the SAIPEM 12000, causing the captain of the Italian ship to panic. The captain of the Saipem 1200, as Dogan claims, warned over the radio: “Get out of our way, otherwise we will both sink.”
The captain of the Turkish warship allegedly replied: “I can not control our speed and our path”, to which the Italian captain reportedly responded: “You can control your speed and your machines. I can clearly see that”. The Turkish ship continued on its route, forcing the Saipem 1200 to change its course. “Alright, I am changing my route”, the Italian captain responded and it departed the region.
According to the Dogan agency, Italy dispatched a frigate in the Mediterranean to carry out NATO exercises and protect the Italian drill ship, but after seeing Turkey’s determination, the Italian warship changed its route and headed to Beirut, while EMI, the Italian company drilling in the area resigned from its exploration in the region.”
A senior official who remained anonymous told the Doğan agency that Turkey’s political determination in the Mediterranean is a great gain and that for the first time Greek Cypriots seemed desperate.