Minister: Transportation of Cyprus gas to Europe via Turkey is impossible
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 12 / Trend, A.Taghiyeva /
The transportation of gas produced in the Republic of Cyprus to Europe through Turkey is impossible, the Vatan newspaper quotes Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz as saying on Monday.
Yildiz called the development of the gas field in Cyprus jointly with Israel as being the main reason and said Turkey will not allow transportation of gas through its territory due to Israel's refusal to apologise for the deaths of nine Turks during an attack of its intelligence services on a Turkish ship.
"This project could be implemented if there was not the history of the May 31, 2009 events (the attack by Israeli security forces on the Turkish ship)," Yildiz said.
Earlier, the Greek administration in the southern part of the Cypriot island announced it was preparing a pipeline project between Cyprus and Turkey whereby gas produced will be liquefied and transported to the Turkish territory for further export to Europe. Estimated gas volume on the field is about 250 billion cubic meters.
The Israeli Navy attacked a 'Freedom Flotilla' carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on May 31. Nine Turks were killed during a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and international human rights activists on the Turkish ship. Ankara announced a review of relations with Tel Aviv following the attack.
Ankara later demanded that Israel issued an official apology, order an independent international investigation and pay compensation.
However, Tel Aviv stated that it will not apologise. Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have subsequently passed to a secondary level. Moreover, Ankara has frozen military cooperation with Tel Aviv and recalled its ambassador.