Turkish navy deports Israeli research ship out of Cyprus

Turkey's 230-meter (750-foot) drillship 'Yavuz' escorted by a Turkish Navy vessel, crosses the Marmara Sea on its way to the Mediterranean, from the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, Thursday, June 20, 2019.
Turkey’s 230-meter (750-foot) drillship ‘Yavuz’ escorted by a Turkish Navy vessel, crosses the Marmara Sea on its way to the Mediterranean, from the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, Thursday, June 20, 2019.

This took place after Turkey & Libya signed an agreement dividing up authority over areas of Mediterranean

The Turkish Navy deported an Israeli research ship near Cyprus two weeks ago, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry confirmed on Saturday.

Israeli researchers from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and a Cypriot geologist were aboard the Bat Galim, a vessel belonging to the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, when Turkey’s navy demanded they move further south, Channel 13 reported. 

The action came despite researchers already having prior approval from the Government of Cyprus in Cyprus’ territorial waters. Additionally, Turkey has no jurisdiction over the area of the Mediterranean Sea where the researchers were.Play Video

The incident took place several weeks after Turkey and Libya signed an agreement dividing up authority over the areas of the Mediterranean between their two countries, which ignores Cyprus’ and Greece’s economic rights in the sea, granting them to Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israel’s top diplomat in Ankara earlier this week to inform him of Israel’s plan to lay down a natural gas pipeline to Europe in that part of the Mediterranean Sea, in cooperation with Greece and Cyprus, which would require Turkey’s approval,according to a Channel 13 report.

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