Turkey has lashed out at the European Union claiming it has no any “jurisdiction over the maritime boundaries” and its accord with Libya. In a statement issued on Friday, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara called the EU “a mouthpiece of Greek and Cypriot claims.”
On Thursday, the European Council said in its conclusion statements that “the Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States.”
Turkey FM Press Release
European Council, with this decision, has once again shown that, it continues under a pretext of union solidarity to act as the mouthpiece of Greek and Greek Cypriot’s unjust and maximalist national claims which are contrary to international law and the principle of equity.
As previously stated, the EU does not have any jurisdiction over the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas. Likewise, the EU is not an international court and thus cannot adjudge the legality of a memorandum duly signed between Turkey and the Government of National Accord-State of Libya.
It was the EU that remained silent in 2003, 2007 and 2010 when the Greek Cypriot side, without any authority, concluded delimitation agreements with the countries in the region in violation of the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. The EU acted as if the Greek Cypriot Side was a normal state representing the whole island. It was again the EU that collaborated in the usurpation by Greece of Libya’s continental shelf rights. The attitude yet again adopted by the EU is another example of the policy of double-standards that the EU pursues.
This attitude will not succeed in dissuading us from defending the rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
European Council Conclusions on Turkey
The European Council recalls its previous conclusions on Turkey of 22 March and 20 June. It reconfirms its conclusions of 17-18 October concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. The Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States. The European Council European Council unequivocally reaffirms its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus regarding these actions by Turkey.