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Turkey: Islands far away from Greece’s mainland “have no continental shelf”

With typical Turkish logic in derivation from the International Law of the Sea, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu claimed that islands located far away from Greece’s mainland cannot have continental shelf. “We see Kastelorizo from Turkey” he said in an effort to defend Ankara’s position on the matter, as if the other islands of the eastern Aegean Sea were invisible from Greece’s neighboring country.

“We say that not every island can have a continental shelf. In particular, the islands that are far from the mainland and closer to Turkey cannot have a continental shelf,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with CNN Turk TV.

Presenting several maps to strengthen Ankara’s claims in the Aegean and East Mediterranean Seas he said that the island of “Kastelorizo is located 2 kilometers away from the Turkish coast and 570 kilometers away from the Greek mainland. This cannot possibly generate a 40,000 square kilometer maritime zone.”

He claimed that “such islands have territorial waters but not continental shelf, as the Law of the Sea says.”

He added “we gave to these islands 6 nautical miles of territorial waters. Greece wanted to extend to 12 nautical miles in order to prove that also these islands belong to the mainland.”

He claimed further that this is the reason that Greece has not agreed with Egypt on an Exclusive Economic Zone and showed another map that extends the illegally occupied North of Cyprus to extend up to the islands of Rhodes and Crete.

“We were saying that this cannot be the case, but Greece had these dreams,” Cavusoglu said.

PS In this Turkish logic, the Canary islands could be an EEZ cause of dispute between Spain and Morocco and the Azores between Portugal and the Atlantic fish.

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  1. dr ebrahim xodadost

    Turkey has every right to divide the Aegean Sea into 2 halves, turkish and Greek halves.

    • No. Turkey’s view on the Law of the Sea is in direct conflict with the Law of the Sea and not a view shared by any other country. (We can hardly call Libya a country, when it has no government and is in civil war with armaments supplied by Turkey and UAE, against international law.)

      Moreover, Turkey has not signed the 1964 or the 1982 UN treaties — meaning that Turkey does not recognise the Law of the Sea which the entire world accepts. Instead, Turkey prefers military threats instead of the rule of law and arbitration procedures. If Erdogan is crazy enough to threaten EU sovereign territory (and he is, no doubt) then Turkey had better prepare for a punitive economic embargo and possible military conflict.

    • Even USA and every other country have accepted that the UNCLOS , the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of the 1982 has attained the status of customary law. Every Greek citizen watchngtne media has bee ntnetarget of propaganda, we woke up. Our sympathy to the Turkish people for stating they ar good neighbors but you can have it all either listen to the flattering words of your president or learn what the law and te politics around the world really are about, it is deeply provocative to say that the division of the Sea is right , when independent authors all around the world and the law says not, in simple words war is eminent when you test the sovereign right of your neighbors, whether Turkey is stronger is another story, the historic claim to the half of the sea has basis , and to bypass a constant political and legal process that proves beyond ANY DOUBT the opposite is a reason to make war not peace.

      • I am sorry to say that half of the sea belonging to Turkey is only valid in terms of unashamed turkish media propaganda,when you watch fake maps on TV , this clearly is to show your country’s political purpose to steal sea, but, the law is on the side of Greek islands to have full rights to continental self and EEZ. I ca t ever post to a turkish media site my opinion because everythigis controlled so it is good that dr ebrahim xodadost can read the other side of the argument he presented.