Istanbul - A Turkish drill ship has left the area where it was operating southwest of Cyprus and reached Turkey’s coast for maintenance in a move the European Union said would help ease tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Refinitiv tracking data showed the Yavuz vessel reached shore and the Energy Ministry said it would now prepare for work in a new location.
EU member Cyprus’ internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government has long been at loggerheads with Turkey over the demarcation of maritime waters and other issues. Turkish vessels began drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus last year.
EU leaders last Friday assured Cyprus the bloc would punish Turkey if it continues drilling in disputed Mediterranean areas, after resisting Cypriot calls to impose sanctions on Ankara.
The Yavuz was to be operating southwest of Cyprus until Oct. 12. Greece, a close ally of Cyprus, had called the work provocative.