The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ANKARA – Turkey is planning to extend its search for gas to Libyan territorial waters, the spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday, Turkish daily Milliyet reported.
A set of deals signed by Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) claimed the countries were maritime neighbors and increased military support to the Tripoli-based government to include Turkish troops.
“According to our agreement with the government of Libya, we will continue with seismic research and drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, but also in areas we agreed on with Libya,” Turkish Presidency spokesman İbrahim Kalın told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
The agreement with the GNA sets extensive maritime borders for Turkey that pass within miles of several Greek islands, including Crete and Rhodes, overlapping with Greece’s claims of jurisdiction. Turkey’s territorial claims also block the route for a pipeline proposed by Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt to take gas to markets in Europe.
Turkey’s search for hydrocarbons has previously put it at odds with the European Union as it sent drillships to waters around Cyprus, whose right to the potentially rich gas reserves around the island it disputes.