Turkish provocations amidst the pandemic

Turkish provocations amidst the pandemic

Clear answer by Athens: Sticking to unlawfulness, with or without maps, will bring neither rightness nor rights

The coronavirus pandemic may be a concern for states across almost the whole globe, but Ankara keeps on causing tensions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. Its latest move came on the eve of 25 March, a Greek national holiday, that is, the revolution for Greece’s independence.

On 18 March, the Turkish Permanent Representative to the UN submitted the geographical coordinates based on last November’s Turkish-Libyan Agreement declared illegal by Greece.

Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu in his letter refers to the “outer limits of the Turkish shelf” in the Eastern Mediterranean, while denying the islands’ right to an EEZ. He also stresses that Turkey will designate maritime zones with those countries which it recognizes and with which it maintains diplomatic relations, noting that Turkish hydrocarbon explorations in the Cypriot EEZ were legal.

“The Turkish-Libyan Agreement does not produce any results and is rejected in its entirety”, replied the Greek Representative to the UN, Maria Theophili. In fact, she described the geographical coordinates as “fictitious, illegal and arbitrary” as they overlook the right of the Greek islands to maritime zones.

“With falsified evidence once again, in the name of peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, with unsubstantiated arguments, Turkey insists on unlawfulness and destabilization”, the Greek Foreign Ministry states. “Sticking to unlawfulness, with or without maps, will bring neither rightness nor rights. And, of course, it will receive the appropriate response”, Athens stresses.

Alexis Tsipras called on the Government to raise the issue at the European Council, as well as to requested that sanctions against Turkey are extended to include actions by the country’s companies that took place on the Greek shelf. “Any decision by Greece to submit coordinates should be accompanied by a clear European message to Turkey that says ‘enough’”, the SYRIZA president said, speaking of an unacceptable escalation of hostility by Turkey against Greece. /ibna