Turkey will start its first solo oil and gas deep-sea drilling in the Mediterranean before the end of this summer, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said on Friday.
Albayrak hailing Turkey's great achievement within the scope of the National Energy and Mining Policy, said, "We are also putting great efforts in ensuring this momentum doesn't fall."
Resources in the Eastern Mediterranean have caused friction between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration. Earlier in 2018, the Greek Cypriot administration unilaterally launched exploratory drilling activities for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite strong opposition from Turkish Cypriots, who argue that the island's natural resources should be exploited jointly to ensure equal rights for both parties.
The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and is internationally recognized by all nations except Turkey, which remains the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
- TANAP to start on June 12
The Minister said that after the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, a new initial period for Turkey would begin.
"We will write a new story in the coming period as there are more roads to go for us. By the end of this year, Turkey's first domestic integrated solar factory begins production of national solar panels," he said.
He added that the country would also start preparations for the construction of a wind turbine factory.
Albayrak also said the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) would launch on June 12 with the expected participation of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.
TANAP's initial capacity per year will be 16 billion cubic meters from which Turkey will withdraw 6 billion cubic meters while the remaining 10 billion cubic meters will be delivered to Europe.
Reporting By Nuran Erkul Kaya
Writing By Murat Temizer