A Turkish seismographic survey vessel reportedly set sail for a sea region off western Cyprus hours after a Turkish official threatened to conduct hydrocarbon research in retaliation for the pending commencement of exploratory drilling in block 11 of Cyprus' EEZ - conducted with the approval of the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus.
The "Barbaros" vessel was reportedly ordered to head to the Gulf of Morphou, west of a portion of the island republic's territory occupied by Turkish troops since August 1974.
As of Friday morning, however, no Navtex notification had been issued by Turkey's navy in regards to the course and activity of the research vessel.
A relevant Turkish energy minister on Thursday told newspaper reporters that the Barbaros' mission is part of what Ankara calls its "guarantor rights" regarding the island republic.
The Turkish government reacted angrily this week to EU member-state Cyprus' exploration in its exclusive economic zone. The actual drilling will be conducted by a vessel commissioned by a consortium headed by French multinational Total.