The Turkish vessel Fatih started on Tuesday the first country’s oil and gas deep drilling off the southern Mediterranean coast, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez, the vessel will be conducting drilling at the deep-water well Alanya-1 for 150 days, Anadolu said.
"Our aim is to open two drilling wells on average a year with the Fatih vessel," Dönmez said, as quoted by the agency.
The minister also noted readiness of the Turkish navy to ensure the security of the drilling vessel in case of possible threats coming from Greek ships.
"There are no security risks [toward the vessel], however, if harassment takes place, our naval forces will do what is necessary," Dönmez added.
Increasing Turkish shelf activities are a matter of concern for Greece and Cyprus as the Turkish plans are also covering the territorial waters of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized as an independent state only by Ankara. Alanya-1 deepwater well is located outside the disputed area.