Turkey sends “Barbaros” vessel off coast of Cyprus

14 July 2017
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Turkish seismographic research/survey vessel Barbaros, which until yesterday evening was anchored in a port in southern Turkey sailed off the coast of Cyprus.

According to “Marine Traffic,” Barbaros is currently just off the coast of Morphou bay on the north-western side of the island. The tracking site, however, says the destination of the vessel is Moudania, in northwestern Turkey.

Turkish media reported that the Turkish Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanographic Office has not issued any NAVTEX in relation to Turkish seismographic activities.
According to Turkish newspaper Haber7, what pushed Turkey to react was “the initiative of South Cyprus to continue drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.”

On the other hand, the more aggressive Milliyet newspaper, covers the same events in a different light dubbing the departure of the research vessel as “a landing on Morphou”, even quoting the phrase of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law who said Turkey was “not a banana republic”.

Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, speaking to financial editors of Turkish newspapers, said the next mission of the Turkish Barbaros research ship is Morphou and invoked Turkey’s “guarantor rights” by unleashing new threats in relation to gas exploration by the Republic of Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Cypriot Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaidis said Turkey’s moves regarding the oil drilling exploration of French company TOTAL in the region were not unexpected and caused no concerns, adding that the Cypriot National Guard was monitoring the situation, but it was not in the national interest of Cyprus to reproduce a climate of tensions.

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