ANKARA – Turkey’s agreement with Libya “was signed on the basis of international law, including relevant articles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, without mentioning which articles of course.
Ankara marks Turkey’s agreement with Libya compatible with international law and maritime law on maritime zones in the eastern Mediterranean, challenging Kastelorizo’s, a Greek island, continental shelf.
In a statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy stressed that the agreement defines part of the western borders where Turkey has maritime jurisdictions in the eastern Mediterranean .
He added that it was an agreement “signed on the basis of international law, including the relevant articles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”.
According to Ankara, the length and direction of the coastlines must be taken into account when determining the EEZ. “All parties are aware that the islands cannot affect the coastal projection of Turkey, the country with the largest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Mr Aksoy noted, adding that the islands on the opposite side of the intermediate line between two continental regions cannot create maritime jurisdictions beyond their territorial waters.
Mr Aksoy noted that before the deal with Libya, Turkey invited all parties to negotiations, but added that they preferred to take unilateral measures.
He also spoke of maximalist claims by Greece Cyprus, while citing Kastelorizo as an example, arguing that, while directly opposite Turkey, “it is supposed to create an area of maritime jurisdiction four times its surface.”
Greece-Egypt debate on EEZ demarcation accelerated
Earlier, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Samek Sukri, in Cairo and, as he said, the two memoranda were signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and leader of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood government, Fayez al-Sharjah.
“We both have the impression in the first place that Mr Sharjah probably lacks the necessary legality to sign these memoranda. Anyway, they act as destabilizing agents for the wider region,” Mr Dendias noted.
According to the Foreign Minister, it was agreed with the Egyptian Minister to accelerate the discussions between the technical scales for the designation and delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) between Greece and Egypt.
It is recalled that the Greek side has sent an ultimatum to Libya by Thursday seeking explanations for the deal, while the Turkish ambassador was also called to the foreign ministry days earlier.
Foreign Minister: Turkey is a major violator of international law
On Saturday night, the Foreign Ministry called in a statement “a major violation of international law”.
“We condemn today’s statements by the Turkish leadership. The main violator of international law in the region insists on not realizing that illegality does not produce justice,” the Foreign Minister noted.
Greek delegation leaves for Erdogan event – What Turkish president says
It is recalled that the Greek delegation under the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Dimitris Economou departed from the inauguration ceremony of the TANAR pipeline in Ipsala on Saturday afternoon.
During the event, Erdogan said inter alia that the agreement with Libya on maritime zones would go to parliament and be implemented. “Now they have begun to threaten Libya,” he said, noting that Turkish ships “will continue to perform their duties” in the Eastern Mediterranean.