TEHRAN, Dec 15_Turkish navy ships have intercepted an Israeli research vessel in Cypriot waters, over which Ankara claims jurisdiction, forcing it to leave the area in a move that could negatively impact an ambitious Israeli project to pipe natural gas to Europe.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_Quoting unnamed senior Israeli officials, Israel’s channel 13 news reported Saturday that the rare incident occurred two weeks ago when Turkish vessels approached Bat Galim.
Turkish navy officers radioed the Israeli ship and demanded to know its business in the area, over which Turkey claims jurisdiction, and then ordered it leave. The Israeli vessel had no choice but to comply and depart, said the report.
According to the report, the Israeli ship was conducting research in coordination with Cypriot officials and the Cypriot government.
Over the past year, Turkey has sent military ships as well as drilling ships to search for crude oil in the waters.
Recently, tensions have risen between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus regarding gas fields discovered in the eastern Mediterranean.
In an interview with Reuters in September, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Greek Cypriots of trying to deprive Northern Cyprus of its rights.