This September (and particularly towards the end) is expected to be 'warm' to very 'hot' for the Eastern Mediterranean region. Prime Minister Erdoğan
and the creator and inspirator of the new Turkish policy (of neo-othomanism), Professor Davutoğlu leads Turkey - one of the main pillars of American
foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East in the past, to disastrous mistakes and possibly dangerous developments across the region.
The main events that have made the Turks literally mad are two:
First: The conflict between Turkey and Israel over the issue of ship Mavi Marmara (May 2010) and the death of nine Turkish citizens by Israeli
commando when the Turkish ship tried to break the naval blockade and reach Gaza.
Second and most important reason
: The underwater surveys of Israel for potential natural gas on the Cyprus EEZ and especially on the block
Regarding investigations for natural gas on the block 12 of the Cyprus EEZ, allow me to mention some very important factors:
Sea Area – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, provides, inter alia, clear definitions on the Territorial Sea or Territorial
Waters, the Contiguous Zone or boarder zone and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, which was concluded in 1982, in Montego Bay in Jamaica and came into force on 16 November 1994, replaced
four older international treaties. On 30th April 1982 in New York, a consensus process was used for the new Convention, during which 130 states voted
in favour of the Convention, four voted against and 17 abstained. Among the states that voted against the Convention was Turkey. By the end of 2008,
157 countries ratified the Convention, including Cyprus (12 December 1988) and Greece (1995).
Exclusive Economic Zone
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea introduced many innovations including the establishment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),
which starts at the coastal baseline and extends 200 nautical miles out into the sea, perpendicular to the baseline. Article 56 of the Convention
defines the rights, the jurisdiction and the duties of the coastal state in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Specifically, the coastal state has
sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the
waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil. In summary, the coastal state has the right to exploit the natural resources of
this zone, as is for example the production of energy from the water, currents and winds. In addition it has the right to establish and use artificial
islands, installations and structures.
All states have the right to freedom of navigation, freedom of overflight and of laying cables and
pipelines, on the provision that they act in the framework of the international law and provided that they do not threaten the security of the coastal
Moreover, Article 121 paragraph 2 of the Convention states that all islands have an Exclusive Economic Zone and that the EEZ of an island is
determined in accordance with the provisions of the Convention applicable to other land territory.
The inconsistency of Turkey
Turkey did not sign or ratify the UN convention on the Law of the Sea. However, towards the end of 1986, it declared an Exclusive Economic Zone in the
Black Sea and concluded an agreement with the Soviet Union concerning states with coasts opposite or adjacent to the coasts of Turkey, using the
method of the median line. Later Turkey started talks with Bulgaria and Romania on the same issue and reached an agreement with them, which was
similar to the one it concluded with the Soviet Union.
Consequently, whereas Turkey has cooperated with adjacent states in the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea, which is a
closed or semi-closed sea as is the Mediterranean Sea, yet it refuses to do the same in the Mediterranean, even though it has itself created a
precedent in the Black Sea.
Turkey’s responsibilities emanating from its EU accession course
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was ratified by the European Union (10 December 1998) and consequently constitutes a part of the
Acquis Communautaire. All the countries for EU accession, including Turkey, are obliged, at the moment of their accession, to implement the Acquis
On 15 July 1974, the Greek military junta and its Greek Cypriot collaborators carried out a coup against the democratically elected president of
Cyprus. Using this criminal act as a pretext, Turkey invaded Cyprus five days later. In a two-phase invasion in July and August, and despite calls by
the UN Security Council [Resolution 353 (1974)] and the quick restoration of constitutional order on the island, Turkey occupied 36,2 percent of the
sovereign territory of Cyprus.
The “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) has not been recognized by anyone other than Turkey, which exercises virtual control over
it. UN Security Council [Resolutions 541 (1983)] and [550 (1984)] categorically condemned this unilateral action, declared it invalid, called for its
withdrawal, and called on all UN member-states not to recognize this illegal entity. The EU and other international and regional organizations have
adopted similar positions. For all legal and political purposes, the international community recognizes only the Republic of Cyprus created in 1960
and its government, even though the government cannot currently exercise its authority in areas under military occupation by Turkey
Legal decisions by regional and national courts in Western Europe, in the United States, and in the United Kingdom provide an important independent
record of the consequences of Turkey’s 1974 invasion and its continuing occupation of Cyprus. They also affirm the legitimacy of the Republic of
Cyprus and of its government. These decisions constitute an important foundation for any future comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Agreements between Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel on the Delimitation of the EEZ
On 12 December 1988, Cyprus proceeded to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In February 2003 and January 2007, Cyprus signed
an Agreement on the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Lebanon, respectively. The Agreement is based on the internationally
accepted principle of the median line and in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In December 2010, the Agreement on the
Delimitation of the EEZ between Cyprus and Israel was signed.
At the same time, Cyprus announced, on 16 February 2007, the 1st Licensing Round Offshore Cyprus for the grant of Hydrocarbon Exploration Licences
and subsequent Hydrocarbon Exploitation Licences, which ended on 16 August 2007. A number of companies demonstrated an interest and were provided with
the relevant information.
edit on 12-9-2011 by Sephi because: Few underlines