Cyprus Suspends Peace Talks with Turkey

Danger of conflagration as Turkish frigate violates Cyprus’ southern waters, Cyprus accuses Turkey of provocation.

Tags: Turkey Cyprus
Mark Langfan ,

The Gelibolu
The Gelibolu
Courtesy of

Events in the eastern Mediterranean waters south of Cyprus are escalating rapidly, as Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades’ suspended reunification peace talks with Turkey and Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, after Turkey issued an unusual Navigational Telex, or NAVTEX, and a Turkish frigate violated the Cypriot Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) in Cyprus's southern waters.

A government spokesman in Nicosia said President Anastasiades' decision was the result of Turkey's "provocative" and "aggressive" actions to start seismic tests off the island's southern coast later this month and that the plan was a "serious breach" of its sovereign rights as well as the rights of its own drilling consortium, consisting of Italy's Eni and South Korea's Kogas in the EEZ Block 9.

"The least I can say is that negotiations, in order to produce results, cannot be conducted under such conditions of provocation," said Ioannis Kasoulides, the Cypriot foreign minister, on Monday.

The looming danger is Turkish Frigate Gelibolu is currently deployed in the same areas that the Turkish NAVTEX has cordoned off for the Turkish gas exploration ship, which is set to enter the Cyprus EEZ blocks on October 20. If these two Turkish ships should act in tandem, this could be the tinder which could set the area aflame.