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Turkey Warns Firms Against Cyprus Gas Bid

Turkey has threatened reprisals against companies bidding for gas-drilling projects off Cyprus.

Russia's Novatec is among 15 firms and consortiums seeking a license to carry out exploratory drilling off the island's southern coast.

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot north and internationally recognized EU-member Greek Cypriot south since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on May 18 that companies seeking a license to search for gas deposits off Cyprus would be banned from future Turkish energy projects.

Ankara demands that the Greek Cypriots postpone offshore drilling until there is a solution to the decades-old Cyprus problem and has retaliated by launching its own exploratory drilling in Cypriot waters.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters