Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak has announced plans for oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean this summer, according to a report published by the Turkish daily Sabah.

The report does not clarify precisely where the drilling will be conducted, yet it notes that Ankara has said it will send an oil and gas exploration vessel to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

In March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey is steadily pursuing its energy independence and that it will display the same determination regarding hydrocarbons deposits in the Mediterranean, “so that we can protect the rights of our country and of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [the Turkish occupation regime in the north of the island, recognised only by Ankara]”.

Albayrak, who is Erdogan’s son-in-law, said that the TANAP natural gas pipeline, which is the Asian portion of TAP, will be operating as of 12 June.

The TANAP pipeline will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey.