Erdogan says 'good news' coming for Turkey amid reports of Black Sea energy discovery

Erdogan says 'good news' coming for Turkey amid reports of Black Sea energy discovery
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has a special announcement coming on Friday.
2 min read
Erdogan also appeared to take shot at France's involvement in the eastern Mediterranean [Getty]

Turkey has discovered energy in the Black sea, according to unnamed officials cited in a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.

The report followed an announcement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that "good news" would be delivered on Friday that he promised would "open up a new era in Turkey."

Observers have pointed out that the date of the impending announcement - August 21 - coincides with the date that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk shared plans with his generals for what would be the last major offensive of the Turkish War of Independence.

Erdogan did not elaborate on the nature of the announcement, but said: "If I announce it now, the excitement would disappear," in a television broadcast.

The reported discovery comes amid heightened tensions with Turkey and Cyprus over territorial rights in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey has been conductiong exploration for oil and gas. Ankara's actions have drawn in France, which has beefed up its military presence in the area as a counter to Turkey.

Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to continue activity in the eastern Mediterranean and appeared to take shot at Paris over its involvement.

“No colonialist power can deprive our country from rich oil and gas resources estimated to be in this region,” he said.

Despite his defiant remarks, Erdogan also emphasised the importance of continued dialogue.

"We are awaiting steps from our interlocutors that will decrease tensions, lead the way to dialogue," he said.

Turkey had agreed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's insistence to give talks with Greece a chance to resolve the dispute last month, and suspended its decision to explore waters near Kastellorizo.

But Greece then signed an agreement with Egypt to set up an exclusive economic zone that outraged Turkey, which called the deal "null and void".

Turkey then sent the seismic research ship Oruc Reis on August 10 to carry out activities off the island until August 23.

Turkey is increasingly isolated on the issue as other countries in the region have forged alliances including Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

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