Turkish PM calls Cyprus, Israel drilling 'madness'

By REUTERS
September 21, 2011 15:05

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described offshore gas drilling by estranged ally Israel and Cyprus as "madness" on Wednesday, raising the stakes in a confrontation over potentially huge deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.

The quarrel over gas has escalated in recent weeks, just as relations between Turkey and Israel abruptly broke down over Jerusalem's refusal to apologize for a deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla last year.

Israel and the Greek-speaking government of Cyprus are exploring for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, and Israel has laid claim to a massive deepwater gas field discovered in 2009.


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