QA:20, 28 July 2009, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question

Question: The issue of permits given to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction areas in the Eastern Mediterranean are still being widely covered by the Greek media. We would appreciate your views regarding the matter.

Answer: The Council of Ministers Decrees, dated 30 July 2008, allowing the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to conduct geological research and oil exploration/exploitation activities in the Eastern Mediterranean have been published in the Turkish Official Gazette of 16 July 2009. Those areas for which research and exploitation permits were issued by the said Decrees entirely fall within the Turkish continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean where Turkey’s exclusive sovereign rights for exploration and exploitation of its natural resources prevail.

Accordingly, TPAO had conducted geophysical research activities within those maritime jurisdiction areas of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean between 14 and 18 November 2008.