Athens repeats warning about Turkish letter to UN on maritime deal


Athens on Wednesday reacted strongly to the submission last week to the United Nations by Turkey’s permanent representative to the UN, Feridun Sinirlioglu, of a letter that contained geographical coordinates based on the contentious maritime boundaries accord signed between Ankara and Libya’s Tripoli-based government in November, ignoring the existence of Greek islands.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that, “once again, on the false pretense of acting in the name of peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, with groundless arguments, Turkey persists in violating international legality and destabilizing the region.”

It said that Turkey is “building its illegal house of cards” and that Greece “demands respect for the sovereign right of islands to a continental shelf and EEZ (exclusive economic zone), underscoring that illegal and null-and-void agreements produce no legal effects.”

“We repeat that persistence in violating international legality, with or without maps, creates neither law nor rights and will certainly be met with the appropriate response,” the ministry said. 

Sinirlioglu’s new letter to the UN on March 18 follows that of February 27 (published in Kathimerini on March 7), in which Ankara pressed for the acceleration of the process of publishing the Turkey-Libya deal coordinates in the UN’s Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, which has yet to happen.

Sinirlioglu claims the memorandum is based on the various decisions of international arbitration bodies. 

Meanwhile, on Greek Independence Day on Wednesday, marking the beginning of the 1821 Revolution against the Ottoman Turks, Turkish fighter jets flew over the Evros land border, Lesvos and smaller islands, conducting what were described as extremely dangerous maneuvers.