Turkey's oil exploration vessel Piri Reis continues on its route towards the East Mediterranean.
Named after worldwide famous Ottoman captain, geographer and cartographer Piri Reis, the vessel weighed anchor from the Urla Port in the western province of Izmir on Friday for East Mediterranean to explore oil and natural gas.
Earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) signed in New York an agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf between two countries in the East Mediterranean following a Greek Cypriot move to start offshore drilling for natural gas and oil in the southeast of the Eastern Mediterranean island.
Turkish Energy & Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters on Saturday that Turkey was closely following the activities of Greek Cypriot administration.
When asked whether Turkish navy was escorting Piri Reis, Yildiz said that the navy would escort if necessary, adding that Turkish Foreign Ministry planned each step earlier.
Built in Julius Diedrich shipyard in Germany in 1978, Piri Reis is able to carry out two-dimension seismic surveys for 20 days.
In 2010, Greek Cypriot administration and Israel signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek Cypriot administration has recently begun oil and natural gas exploration and drilling.
The Greek Cypriot side had signed a deal with U.S.-based Noble Energy to start drilling in an 324,000-hectare economic zone adjacent to the Israeli waters.
AALast Mod: 24 Eylül 2011, 14:03