Turkey states it readiness for dialogue with Greece on the demarcation of maritime borders, according to statements by a senior Turkish official.
The Turkish official presented Turkey’s positions on the issue of demarcation of the maritime zones, the Eastern Mediterranean, energy research, relations with Greece and Cyprus.
He also spoke about the Casus Belli of Turkey for the extension to 12 miles of territorial waters from Greece, while he was categorical that there are no options for war in the region on the part of Turkey.
Turkey’s policy in the Eastern Mediterranean concerns two points.
-The defence of the Turkish continental shelf against maximalist and excessive maritime claims, in order to achieve a fair and equal demarcation on the basis of international law.
– The protection of the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots, rights arising as co-owners of the island for offshore resources.
The Turkish official spoke specifically about the island of Kastelorizo, which according to the claims for an island of about 10 km2 located 2 km from the Turkish coast and 580 km from mainland Greece to produce 40,000 km2 of sea jurisdiction, contradicts the principle of equality, international law and case law.
Arguing, he presented with maps, demarcation cases similar to that of Kastelorizo, where according to him the demands of Greece for the influence of Kastelorizo are not compatible with International Law and that they will be dropped in case of an appeal to the International Court of Justice.
Continuing, he presented the Greek position that “all islands, regardless of their size and location, have the right to create a complete EEZ/continental shelf in accordance with Article 121 of UNCLOS, while the middle line is the only method of demarcation.
For her part, Turkey insists that parity is the rule for delimiting maritime zones and not the middle line under UNCLOS Articles 74/83. Rights and demarcation are not the same thing according to the Turkish side, so a continental shelf and an EEZ cannot be given if their presence distorts the parity of the demarcation, as comparative coastal derivatives must be taken into account.
In addition, he stressed the EU’s discriminatory stance in favour of Greece and Cyprus and against Turkey, as it is a violation of international law to apply restrictive measures in non-demarcated maritime zones, he said.
As for the forthcoming start of exploratory talks, he said he was optimistic, noting that the dialogue should take place without any preconditions.
Asked by IBNA what would happen if Greece extended its territorial waters to 10 nm to harmonize with 10 nm of its airspace, he said that the casus belli of the Turkish National Assembly does not signal war options.
As he explained, the decision of Turkey was a reaction to the decision of the Greek Parliament to give the right to the Government for the expansion of the territorial waters. If one reads the entire decision of the National Assembly, one will see that Turkey does not want unilateral expansion but to be done through negotiation and information exchange between the two countries. “If it happens unilaterally, we will not go to war, but we will challenge this decision in whatever means we have available”, the Turkish official said.
On the issue of sharing revenues from resources in Cyprus, the same official noted that the Republic of Cyprus does not take the Turkish Cypriots into account, who have the same rights as the Greek Cypriots. Only through talks between the two communities can a just solution be found.
Finally, on the issue of explorations, he noted that everything should be on the table, since everything, influence, continental shelf, EEZ, sovereignty, search and rescue, as well as the harmonization of airspace with territorial waters, are interrelated issues that must be addressed, to add that in order to resolve the differences in the Eastern Mediterranean a real mechanism of cooperation is needed between the countries and not to isolate Turkey./ibna