Cyprus is going to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to put an end to Turkish gas drilling in Cypriot waters.
According to President Anastasiades, his government will take all legal action to defend the country’s sovereignty. Cyprus has notified Turkey of the move through its embassy in Athens.
In 1974, Turkey occupied northern Cyprus. Since then, the island has been divided into two parts: a Greek part, officially the Republic of Cyprus, and a Turkish part. The independent Republic of Cyprus is a member of the EU. The country is not recognized as a state by Turkey, while the Turkish part is not recognized internationally.
When gas was found south of Cyprus, under the Mediterranean Sea, a new conflict arose: whose is it? Turkey and Cyprus both think they are entitled to it.
Under international law, the waters under which the gas is located belong to Cyprus. This granted companies such as the American ExxonMobil, the Italian Eni and the French Total permits to drill.
Still, Turkey is drilling into the area. The Turkish navy protects those drill ships so that they can work undisturbed.
The EU decided in July to impose sanctions on Turkey for the drilling. They have not yet been implemented.