Duvar English

The European Union (EU) has placed sanctions on two high-level executives from Turkish Petroleum (TPAO). The decision came after the EU deeemed the national company’s hydrocarbon drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean as “illegal.”

The EU will be freezing European assets and imposing a travel ban on TPAO Vice-President Mehmet Ferruh Akalın, who also serves as the head of the Exploration, R&D Centre and Information Technologies Departments, as well as on Deputy Director of the Exploration Department Ali Coşkun Namoğlu.

“Responsible for planning, directing and implementing TPAO’s offshore hydrocarbon exploration activities, [including] drilling activities which have not been authorized by the Republic of Cyprus,” said the Official Journal of the European Union on Feb. 27 about the executives.

EU citizens and institutions will also be forbidden to transfer funds to these individuals, the journal said.

The EU had ruled to impose sanctions on TPAO personnel related to the natural gas drilling activities in October of 2019.

The EU also “reconfirmed its conclusions of 17-18 October 2019 concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and unequivocally reaffirmed its solidarity with Cyprus.”