Ankara announces Med drilling
Ankara has announced new drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean with the Abdulhamid Han drillship set to sail in the coming days.
“Its new mission is planned to be in the Mediterranean,” said the director general of the Turkish Oil Exploration Company (TPAO), Melih Khan Bilgin, stressing that the drillship will scan the area covered by the so-called Blue Homeland – a doctrine envisaging Turkish influence in the large swaths of the Eastern Mediterranean at the expense of Greece and other countries in the region.
The Abdulhamid Han is currently located at the Tasucu Port in Mersin, southern Turkey, undergoing maintenance work.
Analysts expect Ankara to issue a navigational notice (Navtex) designating the vessel’s route.
While most analysts have refrained from predictions, they are not ruling out the possibility that the Abdulhamid Han will head for areas within Libya’s exclusive economic zone where seismic surveys have been conducted in the past.
At the same time, they are also not ruling out the possibility that it could be directed within the Cypriot EEZ.
It was noted, however, that in recent months at least, Turkey has avoided prospecting in areas that could cause tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.
However, a new landscape has emerged after the new agreement between Greece and Egypt on search and rescue areas, the discussion within Greece on the extension of the territorial waters to 12 miles in certain areas, the visit of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Libya and Cairo, and the reactions in Athens against the government in Tripoli.
Meanwhile, the leadership in Ankara has been alarmed by the US State Department’s reaction to statements by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar about the possible immediate use of the Russian-made S-400s that Turkey has purchased from Moscow. Washington says the Russian anti-aircraft system “is a threat to NATO” and called for its removal and warned of new sanctions if new Russian weapons systems are purchased.
According to Turkish media, a few hours after the strong reaction, US Ambassador to Ankara Jeff Flake visited Akar.
Meanwhile, ruling Justice and Development Party spokesman Omer Celik accused Greece of supporting terrorist organizations and threatened to veto the issue of Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership.
Source : Newsroom Σύνδεσμος