Turkey is on the road to new tensions in the area. The Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez announced that the Yavuz drilling rig would soon return “to its planned operations in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
As it is known, “Yavouz” was drilling inside the Cypriot EEZ for many months – from April to early October 2020, provoking a strong reaction from the Republic of Cyprus.
In fact, when it left the area, the official explanation given by the Turkish side was that this happened because maintenance work had to be done on the floating drilling rig. The Turkish Minister of Energy did not specify in which sea area of the Eastern Mediterranean “Yavuz” will be directed.
However, it should be noted that the five-way conference on the Cyprus issue will take place at the end of April.
Specifically, Mr. Donmez said: “Oruc Reis continues his seismic surveys off the coast of Antalya. Barbaros went for long-term maintenance and is in the shipyards in Tuzla. Yavouz is completing its re-suppling and will soon return to its planned work in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
More provocative statements from Erdogan
Earlier, Erdogan provocatively reiterated the firm Turkish position, that Ankara is not going to back down, pushing forward its revisionist agenda.
“With this mentality, we have succeeded in Karabakh, Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said provocatively, responding to criticism abroad for his policies.
Erdogan indirectly attacked the EU countries stating that “none of their enforcement attempts that are not in line with ethics, law, justice and goodwill by those who do not respect Turkey’s sovereign rights, have and will have any value in our eyes”, he said.
The Turkish president, pointing out meaningfully: “From Syria to Libya, from Karabakh to Cyprus and from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Aegean, in every place we have reached the success of our struggles with this exact mentality”.
In essence, Erdogan responded to the recent criticism of both the human rights situation in Turkey and the growing provocations in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. He even called his critics “hypocrites”.
The Turkish president specifically stated: “The purpose of imposing criteria on us, which they never apply themselves, is not to direct our country in a more modern and successful way. We know full well that the goal is to make us waste more time and energy. From the defense industry to the energy sector, from the environment to human rights and from politics to civil liberties, to countless examples we have experienced, we did not satisfy and will not satisfy those hypocrites”.
The new provocative statements of the Turkish president took place during his announcements regarding new measures in the country to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.