Minister gives Cyprus confrontation signals
Turkey has announced that a research ship will sail to northern Cyprus on Friday to kick off oil and gas surveys after the signing of a key accord with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The agreement laid claim to some zones also slated for exploration by the Greek Cypriots. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who made the announcement Thursday, said the exploration work would be carried out "primarily" in the northern waters of Cyprus, but "could extend into the overlapping areas if need be." The Piri Reis research ship will sail from Izmir on Friday, Yildiz said, adding that it would be given as much of a military escort "as needed." The minister stressed that Turkey was not out to create provocations in the region, saying he did not expect the Mediterranean to "heat up."