Cyprus has protested to the UN Secretary-General over provocative acts by Turkey against fishing vessels flying the Cypriot flag both within the island’s maritime zones, and on the high seas.
In a letter to the UNSG, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou refers to incidents that took place August 16, August 30 and September 21, when Turkish patrol vessels harassed fishing vessels under the flag of Cyprus from carrying out scheduled fishing activities.
In the second incident, the Turkish patrol vessels attempted to board the fishing vessel with a view to inspecting it, while it was performing fishing activities on the high seas.
On September 21, Turkish vessels harassed and arrested a fishing vessel flying the flag of Cyprus, within the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea at a distance of 7.5 nautical miles from Cape Kormakitis, on the northern coast. The vessel and the crew of Egyptian nationality were detained and released on September 29.
“The Government of the Republic of Cyprus kindly requests your assistance in conveying a strong message to Ankara to the effect that the Republic of Turkey must comply with international law, namely that it must observe the customary principle of the freedom of the high seas, including the freedom of fishing therein. Furthermore, Turkey is under an obligation to refrain from acts exacerbating tension in the area and to respect the exclusive jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus over vessels flying the latter’s flag and its authority to regulate fishing activities within its territorial sea,” Κorneliou said in his letter.