ANKARA - Turkey's cabinet has given approval for Turkey's state-run oil firm to carry out oil and gas exploration in six offshore areas around the island of Cyprus, drawing condemnation from the Cypriot government which lays claim to the territory.
The move could escalate an ongoing row between Turkey and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus over who has the right to tap hydrocarbon deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.
Approval was given for the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to explore in six areas in Cypriot waters to the north, west and east of the island, according to Turkey's official gazette.
The gazette did not specify the exact coordinates of the areas, but said they were outside Turkish waters - three areas off Turkey's southern coast of Adana, one off Antalya, one off Hatay and another off the southwestern coast of Mugla.
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