ANKARA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's second drilling ship, the Yavuz, has arrived off eastern Cyprus coast and will conduct drilling operation, Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"The drilling activities of our ship Yavuz are based on legal and legitimate grounds," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, rejecting Greek and the EU's claims that the drilling activities are illegal.
"Turkey's drilling activities are fully granted by Turkish Cypriot Authorities, namely the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, within its continental shelf notified to United Nations," the statement said.
The statement came in response to a comment by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias that "Turkey should stop being the spoiled child of the Eastern Mediterranean" amid escalating tensions over the oil and gas resources on seabed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government on Monday expressed concern over Turkey's drill activities in the Mediterranean Sea, calling on the Turkish government to halt the activities.
Since May, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels, Fatih and recently Yavuz, to the Eastern Mediterranean for oil and gas exploration, asserting the right of Turkey and the Northern Cyprus to the resources of the region.