NEWS

Greece challenges Turkish claims in eastern Mediterranean

TAGS: Diplomacy, Turkey

Greece rejected on Wednesday a series of sovereignty claims in the eastern Mediterranean made by Turkey to the United Nations, saying they are “legally unfounded, incorrect and arbitrary.”

In a letter sent to the United Nations by the country's Permanent Representative Feridun Sinirlioglu on November 13, Turkey reiterates its standing position on the delimitation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, claiming it has a maritime border with Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, while ignoring the rights of Cyprus, which it does not recognize.

It also refers to legal and sovereign rights in the maritime areas of the Eastern Mediterranean located west of the 32nd meridian.

“The Turkish claims and reference to specific coordinates are legally unfounded, incorrect and arbitrary, in so far as they violate Greece's sovereign rights in the region,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to international maritime law, the islands, regardless of their size, have full rights to maritime zones as well as continental territories, the ministry explained, adding that the delimitation of the continental shelf and the EEZ between adjacent or coastal states (either continental or islands) should be done in accordance with the rules of international law, based on the principles of equal distance (midline).

Greece also said that the Turkish claims west of the 32nd medirian “constitute an open interference with the Greece's right to conclude demarcation agreements with third countries.”

“Greece rejects the illegal Turkish claims and reserves the right to respond appropriately.” 

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