Greek Cyprus obtained the personal data of the employees of Fatih drillship working 36.5 nautical miles off the coast of the western city of Paphos in the Mediterranean, according to the Greek Cypriot daily Phileleftheros which carried the issue to its headline on Monday.
The Greek Cypriot foreign ministry then started working to issue an international arrest warrant and the Greek Cypriot presidency applied to a district court in Nicosia last week, which issued the warrant.
There are British and Turkish nationals working on the Fatih drillship, in addition to TPAO’s cooperation with two American and one Croatian companies with expertise in drilling.
The Fatih vessel is currently located in an area within Turkey’s continental shelf which is also claimed by Greek Cyprus within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However, it is not among the areas unilaterally licensed by Nicosia for hydrocarbons.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement that Turkey closely monitors the developments and if true, the Greek Cypriot Administration’s arrest warrant would be null and void for Ankara. “If it dares to (arrest Fatih’s employees), no one should doubt that we will give the necessary response,” Aksoy said.
The Greek Cypriot Administration issued an international arrest warrant for 25 people including the personnel of the Turkish drillship Fatih and officials from companies cooperating with the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).