Turkey will begin drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus in coming days, state-owned news agency Anadolu reported Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying on Thursday.
The move is expected to strike tensions as Turkey and Cyprus have overlapping claims of jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean.
“In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus,” Cavusoglu said in a speech to a business conference in western Turkey’s Aydin province, according to Anadolu.
“Let those who come to the region from far away, and their companies, see that nothing can be done in that region without us. Nothing at all can be done in the Mediterranean without Turkey, we will not allow that,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey launched its first drillship “Fatih” in October to drill off the coast of Turkey’s southern Antalya province. It said a second ship that it purchased would operate in the Black Sea, but was diverted to Cyprus.