Turkey has told Greece, Israel and the European Union to request its permission before carrying out work on what it claims to be “its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.” Ankara’s diplomatic note issued by the Foreign Ministry is a kind of protest that has no legal justification and came after Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed an agreement for an undersea power cable linking the electricity grids of the three countries.
In its diplomatic note, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the route of the planned cable, expected to be funded by the EU, transgressed Turkish territorial waters, state-run news agency Anadolu Agency reported.
The sources pointed out that the three countries reached an agreement last week to expedite permits and approvals to conduct feasibility studies for the undersea cable and to coordinate with their respective national electricity regulators on how best to proceed.
Previously, the three countries had teamed up for a planned $6 billion undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe, by bypassing Turkey.
Israel, Greece and Cyprus have also conducted a joint naval exercise last week, in the latest example of increased cooperation between the three which increasingly view Turkey as a rival in the Mediterranean Sea, the Turkish sources recalled.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the 62. round of “exploratory talks” between Greece and Turkey resumed in Athens as usually without statements from both sides other than that the next round will take place in Istanbul. The date is yet to be set.