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    Oct. 30, 2018, Turkey's new drillship 'Conquerer' is seen off the coast of Antalya, southern Turkey

    Turkey Dismisses Concerns Over Drilling Near Cyprus as Unacceptable

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ankara considers international calls to halt its offshore drilling in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone as unacceptable since this activity is being carried out in Turkey’s "own continental shelf", the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said.

    "Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can't be excluded from the energy equation in the region", the ministry said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

    Pardis petrochemical complex facilities in Assalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his country will continue exporting crude oil despite U.S. efforts to stop it through sanctions
    © AP Photo / Iranian Presidency Office
    The statement comes after the US State Department on Sunday expressed deep concern over Turkey’s intent to launch offshore drilling in the area and called on Ankara to halt these operations. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry responded the following day saying that Ankara would continue drilling.

    On Saturday, Turkish media reported that Ankara was planning to carry out drilling operations in the northern part of the island, which is controlled by Turkey but still claimed by the Republic of Cyprus as its exclusive economic zone.

    READ MORE: Erdogan Expects NATO Support for Turkey's Rights in Eastern Mediterranean

    The contested area in the Eastern Mediterranean is believed to be rich in hydrocarbon reserves and has long been the subject of conflicting jurisdictional claims between Turkey and Cyprus. Ankara disputes the unilateral drilling of the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot administration, contending that the Turkish Cypriots have equal rights to the island's natural resources.

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    Oil, drilling, Turkey, Cyprus
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