The ongoing decisions, coordination and closeness between Egypt and Cyprus and the maritime demarcation deal between the two countries have been raising concern in Turkey over the past few years, amid Ankara’s tense relations with both Cairo and Nicosia, said Egyptian political experts.
Turkey recently declared its rejection of a 2013 maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Cyprus that allows exploration for gas in the area.
Turkey’s position has been slammed by Cairo as infringement of Egypt’s economic rights in its Eastern Mediterranean’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week that his country considers the maritime border demarcation agreement “null and void,” adding that it “violates Turkey’s continental shelf.”
Turkey claims part of Cyprus’s EEZ as its own continental shelf.
Cavusoglu continued that no foreign country, company or vessel may conduct any unauthorized hydrocarbon or scientific research activity on Turkey’s continental shelf.
“Turkey and Cyprus have historical territorial disagreement and Ankara’s rejection of Egypt-Cyprus maritime demarcation deal indicates Turkish plans for gas exploration in the Mediterranean,” said Tarek Fahmy, a political science professor at Cairo University.