Turkey launches fourth drill in eastern Mediterranean - energy minister

Turkey started conducting the fourth drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, the country’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Friday.

"We are currently conducting the fourth drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. We'll keep drilling until we find it [oil]," state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Dönmez as saying during a speech at the Turkish parliament.

The minister said that Turkey would defend its own rights and the rights of people in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), a breakaway state only recognised by Turkey. 

"The initiator of the present problem is the long-standing incompatible attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration,” Dönmez said. 

Ankara maintains parts of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) lie on its own continental shelf, and objects to the internationally recognised government of the partitioned island exploiting resources that it says the breakaway TRNC is due a share of.

The European Union this month adopted a framework for imposing sanctions on Turkey for its gas drilling off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus. 

Turkey current has two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, near Cyprus along with Oruç Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessels.