Turkey’s Dogan News Agency is citing “diplomatic sources” in reporting that the captain of a Turkish warship stared down a huge drill sent by the Italian oil giant ENI for oil and gas exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The clear implication of the report is that the Turkish warship was prepared to sink ENI’s huge drill.
ENI’s SAIPEM 12000 drill was sent for an initial exploration of Block 3 of Cypprus’ EEZ.

The report speaks of “the determination of the Turkish side in the radio conversations between the commander of the Turkish warship and the SAIPEM 12000.

The report describes a “panic” of the SAIPEM 12000’s captain, who is quoted as saying “Let us go ahead or we will go [sink] together”.

“The commander of the Turkish war ship continued steadily to alert the captain [of the SAIPEM 12000] to change his course. It did not continue on its course as the Turkish war ship’s route prevented it. In response to this move, SAIPEM 12000’s captain said, «Okay, I’m changing my route, and he took the ship away from the area,” Dogan reported.

The report also notes that Italy sent a frigate to the area, but because of “Turkey’s firm stance in the region”, it changed course and went to the port of Beirut. “ENI also gave up the natural gas in the region,” the report said.

A senior official speaking to Dogan News Agency reportedly said that, “Ankara’s political steadfastness in the Mediterranean was a huge achievement.”

«The Greeks could not get the support they want from the United States, and they were alone in the Mediterranean,” the report concludes.


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