Turkey sends frigate to monitor gas drilling off Cyprus

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's military says it has deployed a frigate in the eastern Mediterranean to monitor a drilling ship that is believed to have begun searching for oil and gas off ethnically divided Cyprus despite Turkey's objections.

The island's internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot side has said this week that drilling for oil and gas would go ahead following the collapse of talks aimed at reunifying the island.

Turkey strongly opposes the drilling efforts by the Greek Cypriot south, insisting they infringe on the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to the island's potential mineral wealth.

A brief military statement said Thursday the TCG Gokceada was "performing the task of monitoring the ship, West Capella, which is considered to be capable of drilling for the Greek Cypriot administration."

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