Foreign Minister questions Turkish ship's capacity to conduct research
Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoulli has questioned the capability of Turkish ship, Piri Reis' ability to conduct research, noting that the government of Cyprus is following Piri Reis' and other ships' route in the Mediterranean and taking all necessary steps regarding the matter.
Mrs. Marcoullis further noted, in reference to Piri Reis’ deployment in the Mediterranean and its geophysical and seismic research, that Cypriot officials are informed on these issues on a daily basis, adding the following: “Let me underestimate Piri Reis’s role. We are following the movement of the Turkish fleet and of some other research vessels commissioned by the Turkish government and all Turkish military actions are being followed by the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry and other government departments."
She also mentioned that the Foreign Ministry has the mandate to make representations on a daily basis and inform all members of the international community which must be informed and act when the time is right.
Asked to comment on whether Piri Reis has begun to conduct research, Mrs. Markoulli pointed out that “research has not started for sure”, recalling that Piri Reis is nearly 40 years old. She added that if the vessel had had the appropriate equipment for research then the Turkish government would not have signed an agreement with foreign companies to conduct seismic research.
“I don’t want to enter into any details about what Piri Reis is doing or not doing. We are following the situation,” she commented.
Responding to a remark that “Piri Reis” is being used with a view to provoke a reaction on the part of the Cyprus government, Markoulli said this is a possibility which she does not rule out.
Regarding the escalation of Turkish provocations in connection with the offshore drilling conducted in the Republic's EEZ, Mrs. Markoulli recalled statements by Turkish officials and in particular remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had stated that the Mediterranean is a Turkish sea. She also commented on the illegal“agreement” signed between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime in Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas, adding that “we are taking all necessary measures so that the provisions of this agreement are not implemented.”
Mrs. Markoulli also noted that by signing this “agreement” the puppet regime “allocates the right to Turkey to conduct research in regions within Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone or sea shelf”, adding that the “agreement is legally null and void.”
Asked whether the foreign companies which engaged in possible research in the Mediterranean on behalf of the Turkish government are informed about all these issues, Markoulli confirmed that these companies have indeed been informed, adding that “Our Government and the Greek Government presented the case both orally and through letters sent to every direction that was required.”