Work to bring electricity and natural gas to the TRNC from Turkey is continuing.
The Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez confirmed the reports but said that a timetable had not been set yet.
Speaking to reporters at the budget planning meeting at the Turkish Parliament, Dönmez said that the goal was to meet the TRNC’s energy needs via undersea electricity cable and natural gas pipeline projects.
Regarding hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said that reports prepared by leading international energy firms said that important natural gas reserves existed in the region.
He said that Turkey’s drilling activities in the Mediterranean stemmed from its rights under international law.
Dönmez added that Turkey’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people will continue in areas licensed by the TRNC and Turkey without making any concessions on its legitimate rights.
“We have achieved independence in offshore research and drilling capabilities through domestic means,” he said.
The Turkish Energy Minister said that the ‘Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa’ and ‘Oruç Reis’ research vessels had surveyed a total area of 37,000km² to date.
“The data we have collected has speeded up our deep sea drilling operations conducted without domestic and national capabilities,” he said.
Recalling that Turkey has two drillships in the eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said that the drillship ‘Fatih’ which had began operations in October 2018 ,had drilled at two different locations since.
“It is currently drilling at a third location off the coast of Gazimağusa dubbed as ‘Magosa-1’,” he added.
Minister Dönmez said Turkey’s second drilling vessel, the Yavuz had just recently completed its first drilling operation off the coast of the Karpaz peninsula and was now conducting new operations at a location to the West of the island dubbed ‘Güzelyurt’.
Dönmez concluded his remarks by stating that expectations that Turkey will bow down to threats were pointless.
“Our approach has always been to use the hydrocarbons in the region as an element of peace and stability, not tension,” he said.