Turkey notifies UN for maritime jurisdiction areas with Libya
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Turkey and Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) struck a deal on Nov. 27 setting out their maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Passed by Turkey’s parliament on Dec. 5 and took effect on Dec. 8 after being published in the Turkish Official Gazette, the memorandum determines both countries’ marine jurisdictions with Ankara warning Turkey will block it if any parties try to make seismic or drilling activities in this region without permission from Ankara as of Dec. 8.
On Dec. 11, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told A Haber news channel that Turkey "has the right to prevent’’ any unauthorized drilling in waters that it says fall within its own continental shelf. Asked specifically if Turkey could use military means to stop such drilling, Çavuşoğlu replied, "Of course.’’
Greece, Egypt, and Greek Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.
Greece has sent two letters to the United Nations explaining its objections to a maritime boundary deal between Turkey and Libya and asking for the matter to be taken up by the U.N. Security Council.
The United Nations on Dec. 11 urged Greece and Turkey to maintain a dialogue after Athens called on the Security Council to condemn the agreement.
Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the secretary-general, said the U.N. secretariat takes no position on matters concerning member states’ maritime space.
“However, in certain areas, such as enclosed or semi-enclosed seas, particular attention needs to be paid to the interests of third parties,” he said.
“We are confident that all parties concerned recognize the need for continued dialogue on these sensitive matters.”
Haq added that “all differences should be resolved by peaceful means.”