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Turkey's EU Energy Chapter Not Only Closed, But Buried - Marcoulis

marcoulis Turkey's EU membership negotiation chapter on Energy is not only closed but buried, said Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoulis in reaction to Ankara's inauguration of an oil exploration borehole in Famagusta in north Cyprus.

Cyprus will lodge complaints against Turkey's illegal actions to the European Union, the UN and other world bodies, said the foreign minister in comments to state radio. She reiterated that no reputable international energy company will cooperate with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), which is in charge of the drilling operation.

A ceremony launching the drilling operation at the well named 'Turkurdu 1' was attended today by Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who said that the borehole was the first step in mapping out a detailed underground picture of the area. TPAO plans to drill 3000 metres in a project lasting for the next six months. There is only a 1 in 1000 chance of finding oil there, but Yildiz said that the project has 'strategic importance' and would go ahead anyway.

Turkish-Cypriot authorities were positive about the development, with energy official Sunat Atun saying that he believes there is a natural oil reserve and that within three to six months there will be more information from the exploration. The Turkish Cypriot political leadership also sees this as a way to strengthen their unilaterallydeclared state the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC), and Atun said 'the TRNC will be in the world market as an owner of natural resources.'

Turkey is proceeding with Turkish-Cypriot permission but on an illegal basis with oil and gas exploration in north Cyprus, a territory it has held since its invasion and occupation of the island in 1974.

After the government decided to proceed with a contract to explore for offshore hydrocarbons with US company Noble Energy, Turkey announced an unlawful agreement with the 'TRNC' and will explore for oil without official permission from the only recognised government on the island - the Republic of Cyprus.

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