Turkey has reacted to the scheduled commencement of drilling for oil exploration in field 11 in the Cypriot waters by issuing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) for search and rescue operation exercises for Wednesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 13.
The exercises are set to take place between 5 am and 10 am in the morning 14 nautical miles west of the Akama Peninsula within sea fields 5, 6 and 7, which Turkey has laid claims over.
The drill ship West Capella sailed from the Spanish port of Tenerife last Thursday and arrived in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The ship,is scheduled to conduct sea drills on behalf of a consortium by energy giants TOTAL-ENI on July 14.
The three NOTAM issued by Turkey encroaches on the Nicosia FIR in the north and northwest of Cyprus. The Cypriot Republic had issued a NAVTEX declaring a 500-metre security zone around the West Capella drilling platform in field 11. The notice makes it clear that entering the region for any reason is prohibited.