News Local EU welcomes Turkish ship's return to port from Cyprus

EU welcomes Turkish ship’s return to port from Cyprus

A Turkish drill ship has left the area where it was operating southwest of Cyprus and reached Turkey’s coast for maintenance in a move the European Union said would help ease tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Refinitiv tracking data showed the Yavuz vessel reached shore and the Energy Ministry said it would now prepare for work in a new location.

EU member Cyprus has long been at loggerheads with Turkey over the demarcation of maritime waters and other issues. Turkish vessels began drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus last year.

EU leaders last Friday assured Cyprus the bloc would punish Turkey if it continues drilling in disputed Mediterranean areas, after resisting Cypriot calls to impose sanctions on Ankara.

The Yavuz was to be operating southwest of Cyprus until October 12. Greece and France,  close allies of Cyprus, had called the work provocative.

A spokesman for the EU executive, the European Commission, said: “The departure constitutes another welcome step towards de-escalation … and we hope for similar and further moves in this direction.”

“It’s an important signal,” he told a regular briefing.

Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa remains off southeastern Cyprus and its operations there have been extended to October 18.

Regional tensions simmered after Turkish and Greek frigates collided at sea in August near a Turkish exploration vessel, but calmed after Turkey and Greece agreed to resume bilateral “exploratory talks” that ended in 2016.

NATO announced last Thursday that Greece and Turkey, both alliance members, had set up a “military de-confliction mechanism” to avoid accidental clashes at sea.

The island of Cyprus was split after a 1974 Turkish invasion and Ankara has no diplomatic relations with Cyprus and instead recognises a breakaway Turkish Cypriot ‘state’ in the Turkish-held north of the island.

(Reuters, Philenews)

Top Stories

New covid cases on Thursday are 121, out of 2,530 tests

The Health Ministry on Thursday announced 121 new COVID-19 cases out of a total of 2,530  laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,051. The break-down...

Greece introduces regional lockdown in north after COVID-19 spike

Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from Friday after a spike in cases of COVID-19, the...

France attack: Church sexton had throat slit while preparing for Mass

As he did every day, the sexton of the Notre Dame church in the French city of Nice opened up the doors around 8:30...

Man operating motorised parachute seriously injured

A man operating a motorised parachute on Thursday afternoon suffered serious injuries after he fell violently on the ground under circumstances which are investigated. The...

Second covid-19 test by FM Christodoulides negative again

A second coronavirus diagnostic test submitted on Thursday by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides after one of his close associates was diagnosed with...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...