The Greek islands and the western part of Cyprus should not be given a continental shelf /exclusive economic zones (EEZ) but only territorial waters, according to sources within the Turkish foreign ministry, reports said on Tuesday.
According to Anadolu news agency, sources within the Turkish foreign ministry argued that based on international law, the main term to be used in such cases is the equitable principle and not the principle of equidistance.
Based on this principle, the source said, comparing islands with other countries’ mainland may give them less continental shelf/ EEZ, arguing that factors such as the size, the length of the facade and the location of the islands and how far away from the mainland they are located must be taken into account.
The news agency quoted the source saying that the Republic of Cyprus has made agreements on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction with other countries (Egypt, Lebanon and Israel) based on the principle of equidistance considering Cyprus as ‘continental territory’. But the principle of equidistance is not the one to be used for the delimitation of continental shelfs and EEZs, the source said adding that the main principle in international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is the equitable principle.
The same sources point out to that the agreement between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of their maritime areas was based on the equitable principle.
Referring to a map published on Monday by Turkish diplomat Cagatay Erciyes on the delimitation of Turkey’s and Libya’s EEZs, the sources said that no other area of competency should be given to the Greek islands and the western front of Cyprus other than territorial waters.
Anadolu also reported that the Turkey-Libya Agreement may not completely resolve all disputes, but Turkey has a significant gain in terms of supporting its own legal and political arguments.
The article follows the announcement last week of the agreement between Turkey and Libya’s internationally recognised government their maritime boundaries which was condemned by Cyprus.
Cyprus requested a copy of the agreement, with Libya requesting to send a delegation of diplomats to Nicosia instead to discuss its content. Nicosia has not responded yet as it wanted to first see the content before agreeing to any meetings, reports said.