Turkey says second ship set to drill off Cyprus

European Council chief Donald Tusk said EU stand behind Cyprus over disputed drilling. (Reuters)
Updated 07 July 2019

Turkey says second ship set to drill off Cyprus

  • Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup

ANKARA: A second Turkish drillship will begin drilling for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean within a week, Turkey’s energy minister said, in a move which that could strain ties with Cyprus over jurisdiction rights for exploration.
Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.
Turkey already has a ship off Cyprus and Cyprus issued arrest warrants for its crew in June.
The second drilling ship, Yavuz, is currently at the port of Mersin doing final tests and taking on supplies, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted as saying by Turkish state news agency Anadolu.
Ankara, which does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, claims that certain areas in Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone, known as an EEZ, fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or of Turkish Cypriots, who have their own breakaway state in the north of the island which is recognized only by Turkey.

HIGHLIGHT

Last month, EU leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in disputed waters or face action from the bloc, after Greece and Cyprus pressed other EU states to speak out.

“God willing, within a week Yavuz will begin drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Carpasia (peninsula), in the area where we have got a license from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” said Donmez.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Several peacemaking efforts have failed and the discovery of offshore resources has complicated the negotiations.


Algerian court jails protesters over election

Updated 19 November 2019

Algerian court jails protesters over election

ALGIERS: An Algerian court has jailed four protesters for 18 months for disrupting a candidate’s campaign for the Dec. 12 presidential election which is opposed by a mass protest movement.
The court sentenced the four on Monday after protests on Sunday in the western city of Tlemcen, where one of the five candidates, Ali Benflis, was campaigning. No details were available on what their exact actions were.
Algeria’s authorities are trying to quell a protest movement that erupted in February to demand the departure of the country’s ruling hierarchy, an end to corruption and the army’s withdrawal from politics.
The army, which has emerged as the most powerful institution in the country, has pushed for next month’s election as a means to end the protests and restore normality. The former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, quit in April.
The judgment comes a week after a series of other prison sentences were handed down to protesters who had raised flags with Berber symbols during earlier demonstrations.
Several opposition leaders have also been held during the protests, and charged with contributing to damaging army morale.
However, the authorities have also detained numerous current and former senior officials on corruption charges, and have jailed some of them including the once untouchable former intelligence chief.
The protesters have rejected any presidential election carried out now, saying the continued presence of Bouteflika allies in the upper echelons of the government mean it cannot be free or fair.
Human Rights Watch said last week that the arrest of scores of protesters looked like “part of a pattern of trying to weaken opposition to Algeria’s interim rulers and their determination to hold presidential elections.”