Turkey’s refusal to allow an Italian gas drill ship to enter Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been criticised as a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states, as well as the conventional and customary Law of the Sea.

The Turkish military prevented the Italian-registered Siam 12000 (a floating rig from the company, ENI) from heading towards Block 3 of the EEZ inside Cypriot waters last week. The European Union warned Turkey it needs to “respect the sovereignty of member states over their territorial sea and airspace”.

But this is not enough, according to the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group in the European Parliament. Its MEPs have called on the international community, particularly the United Nations and the EU, to take decisive action against Ankara and to put a stop to its illegal action that continues to stoke tension in the sensitive Eastern Mediterranean region.

According to GUE/NGL, Turkey’s latest violation reaffirms its belief that the most effective way for Cyprus to exercise its sovereign rights to the natural resources within its EEZ is for a solution to the Cyprus problem.