Turkish oil-and-gas drill ship Fatih, which had been conducting surveying work off southwestern Cyprus, is sailing away from the country’s exclusive economic zone (EZZ), Kathimerini Cyprus reported.
The vessel Fatih had been deployed west of Akamas peninsula since last April. It now appears to be heading towards Turkey’s coast but has not declared a specific destination.
It is not clear why the vessel is leaving the area and whether it will remain in the eastern Mediterranean.
When Fatih arrived in April, South Cyprus responded by issuing arrest warrants against companies, company executives and crew who are involved in the ship’s operations without the explicit or implicit consent of the Greek Cypriot government.
Turkey maintains another drillship, Yavuz to an area off the west coast of the island, in Block 7 of the island’s EEZ, which South Cyprus has already licensed for exploration to the French-Italian consortium of Total and Eni.
In a recent interview with Kathimerini, Turkey’s Ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin had said the drill ships and seismic research vessels would not leave Cypriot waters unless Greek Cypriots includes Turkish Cypriots in its decision-making concerning hydrocarbon exploration.