Turkish drillship Yavuz withdraws from waters off Cyprus

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PHOTO: Kathimerini

The Turkish drillship Yavuz has withdrawn from the coastal waters off the Karpaz Peninsula in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), where it was expected to explore for hydrocarbons, the Ekathimerini newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The vessel moved to the Turkish port of Taşucu and is now moored opposite the peninsula for reasons that remain unclear, according to the Greek daily.

After arriving at the Karpaz Peninsula on July 8, the Yavuz had been scheduled to start drilling; however, no such activities appear to have been carried out in the area.

Ankara has rebuffed reports that the intended drilling operation ran into problems.

Meanwhile officials in Nicosia told Kathimerini that they are monitoring developments.

Turkey’s drilling operations in the region have led to increased tensions with Greece and drawn reactions from its Western allies, including the European Union and the United States.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish intervention triggered by a brief, Greek-inspired coup. Several peacemaking efforts have failed, and the discovery of offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean has complicated the negotiations.

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