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News of Turkish drillship departure to duty station hits global media headlines

11 August 2022 [14:30] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Mehmet Guney

Turkiye's fourth drillship, Abdulhamid Han, has made headlines internationally after setting sail on August 9, Yeni Shafak daily reports.

The Abdulhamid Han drilling ship, one of only five in the world and the only one in Turkiye, has arrived at its duty station in Gazipasa. The news grabbed the headlines of international media.

The ship's official inauguration had widespread repercussions in Greece. CNN Greece commented that "Erdogan made a show of strength" for the ceremony where the ship was commissioned.

Another Greek newspaper Kathimerini carried the report on the front page, describing the ship’s embarkation as Erdogan’s success. The news titled "Turkiye has sent a new drilling ship to the Mediterranean", underlined that Erdogan announced the launch of Turkiye's fourth drilling ship, which would operate at the Yorukler-1 field.

Ta Nea, on the other hand, carried the report under the title "Abdulhamid Han started to operation".

The ship was launched with Erdogan's comments, "We do not need permission or approval from anyone," according to German news outlet Deutsche Welle. The Chinese news outlet Xinhua also reported the story, under the title "Turkiye's fourth research ship cruises to the east of the Mediterranean".

President Erdogan's statements were widely reported on the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV with the caption "Turkiye has restarted natural gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean".

"The president of Turkiye has commissioned the country's brand new and the largest undersea hydrocarbon drill ship," ABC News reported with Erdogan's words "We do not need permission or approval from anyone" in the news.

Belgian newspaper The Brussels Times broke the news under the headline “Turkiye continues offshore drilling for oil and gas”. The newspaper added that President Erdogan has launched a new oil and gas exploration campaign, emphasizing that it is being carried out on the Turkish coasts and in its own national waters.

Turkiye’s other drilling vessels of Fatih, Kanuni, and Yavuz are operating in the Black Sea, where natural gas deposits have been discovered.

By dispatching the Abdulhamid Han drilling ship to the Yorukler-1 field, 55 kilometers off the coast of Gazipasa, Turkiye is sending messages to the Mediterranean region, particularly to Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.

The launching ceremony, also attended by President Erdogan, was full of messages and symbols. During Sultan Abdulhamid Han's reign, Greece was defeated by the Ottoman Empire in the 1897 war. President Erdogan recalled the war in question and reinforced the message by alluding to the war hero, Gazi Ethem Pasha, and the defeat of Dokeme, which was described as a Greek bastion at the time.

Greeks were also beaten by Gazi Ethem Pasha in the Milona, Yenisehir, and Tirhala battles. Ethem Pasha had crossed the Thermopile Pass in 24 hours, despite German claims that it could not be passed for six months.

The messages sent to Greece during the event did not end there. The ships to accompany the Abdulhamid Han drill ship are named after three brothers, Hakan Ilhan, Kutsi Ilhan, and Murat Ilhan, who were slain together with their mother Muruvvet Kutsi on the night of December 24, 1963, in Cyprus by the Greek terrorist group EOKA.


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