Maritime claims cannot be portrayed as EU external borders

Maritime claims cannot be portrayed as EU external borders
# 12 May 2019 00:29 (UTC +04:00)

Maritime claims of EU member states that violate legitimate rights of third countries cannot be portrayed as EU external borders, said a Turkish official on Saturday, ONA reports citing Anadolu agency.

Cagatay Erciyes, acting director general at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, described Greece and Greek Cypriots’ maritime claims as “maximalist” and said they base on the entitlement of islands to exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf (CS).

“Entitlement & Delimitation are not the same thing. Islands may get zero or reduced EEZ/CS if their presence distorts equitable delimitation. This is a fundamental international law principle,” Erciyes wrote on Twitter.

“Final maritime boundaries can only be determined through agreements (not violating 3rd parties’ possible boundaries) or through litigation. Overlapping maritime claims prevail in the absence of a settlement,” he added.

The Turkish official further said: “Maritime claims of EU members, violating the legitimate rights of 3rd countries cannot be portrayed as the external borders of the EU.”

“That’s indeed the gross violation of international law. Turkey is determined to continue to protect its own & Turkish Cypriots’ CS/EEZ rights,” he added.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

Turkey’s first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been doing exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.