Six measures proposed by the Turkish Vice Admiral if a decision is taken
By Michalis Michael
Six measures, that Turkey will have to take against the Republic of Cyprus and EU member countries, if the decision on international arrest warrants for the personnel of the Turkish drilling rig is executed, proposes a retired Turkish vice admiral. Among other things, the Turkish Vice Admiral Cem Gurdemiz proposes the suspension of cooperation agreements with any EU Member States who implement the decision and revocation of the Ambassador, closing of barricades in Cyprus, shipment of the Yavuz drill for drilling in parts of the Republic of Cyprus and arrests of Greek Cypriot fishermen.
In particular, according to Turkish media and as the Cyprus agency also broadcasts from Turkey, Retired Vice Admiral Cem Gurdemiz in his statement in the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak said: “I do not think any EU country will implement this decision, but I think it is beneficial to study the measures that can be taken.” The Turkish vice Admiral argued that “first the withdrawal of this decision of the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ must be secured. Because the decision being taken is completely against international law.”
The Turkish Vice Admiral argued that “in principle, a political and legal problem between two states does not create responsibilities to people in private law, because the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ is taking this decision in relation to the provisions of its domestic law, in other words the rules on maritime responsibilities.” “However, the problem regards the continental shelf/EEZ that Turkey and the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ do not mutually recognize. In this case, the problem can only be resolved through mutual negotiations, international tribunal or arbitration,” he said.
The Turkish vice admiral wondered where a judge of an EU member state will base the decision to arrest the personnel of the Fatih. “Turkey does not recognize the EEZ of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus. Moreover, Turkey is not even part of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea that the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ has based the declaration of its EEZ,” he said.
The Republic of Turkey will never accept the arrest of this ship’s personnel
The Turkish Vice Admiral also argued that the Fatih has the status of a state ship and therefore has immunity (privileges), just like warships. “The ship carries out its duties in the name of the State. The Republic of Turkey will never accept the arrest of this ship’s personnel under the domestic law of the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’. The results will be very serious,” he said.
The Turkish Vice Admiral was called upon to answer what steps Turkey could do in the event that arrests of the Fatih personnel were executed.
“Firstly, for any EU country that applies the decision, Turkey can suspend any legal co-operation with it (such as an extradition agreement), there can be a large-scale protest and the Turkish ambassador from that country can even be revoked.
Second, the TRNC can close its barricades with the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ until the arrest is lifted.
Thirdly, as a reaction to the implementation of the “state turmoil”, Turkey can immediately send the Yavus drill rig to blocks 1,4,5,6 and 7 that has been “licensed” and can immediately start drilling. As you know, these pieces are a Turkish continental shelf and are in conflict with the so-called ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’.
Fourth, if any arrest is applied, it should be reminded that there will be consequences on ships crossing the Bosphorus Straits under the flag of the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ and on foreign ships using its flag. We must follow closely by expressing our concerns for the pollution and security during the passage of any ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ flag ships from the Bosporus Straits and the Marmara Sea.
Fifth, since 1987 ships flying the flag of ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ can not enter the ports of Turkey. Since 1997 this law has added the non-serving in Turkish ports of companies that have their headquarters in South Cyprus, even if they have another flag. The latter was added on September 26, 2017, when other bans were also added. In this context, still only recreational craft and passenger ships have licenses to enter these ports. In the case of arrest, the Ministry of Transport must immediately withdraw these licenses.
Sixth, the TRNC Coast Guard can capture the Greek Cypriot fishermen entering the “territorial waters/continental shelf of the TRNC, in the areas where they are near the borders of the ‘Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus’ and there is tolerance, and particularly south of Karpasia,” said the Turkish Vice Admiral./ibna