No: 128, 6 May 2019, Press Release Regarding the Press Statement of the US Department of State, Dated 5 May 2019
The press statement of the US Department of State dated 5 May 2019 concerning Turkey’s drilling activities in its own continental shelf is unrealistic.
Turkey has made its position explicitly clear regarding its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2004.
Since then, we have brought to the attention of the relevant countries and the international community that the Greek Cypriot Administration’s EEZ delimitation agreements with the countries in the region are not valid for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and one of these agreements violates Turkey’s continental shelf rights. Similarly, Turkey has announced to the international community and registered with the UN its continental shelf in the region. Delimitation agreements based on equitable principles in accordance with the international law have not yet been concluded among all relevant coastal states in the region.
Therefore, the attempts of the third parties to act as an international court in determining maritime boundaries is unacceptable. In this context, the statement of the US calling Turkey by expressing that “there exists Greek Cypriot claims over the area” is neither constructive nor compatible with international law, given the fact that there is no valid maritime delimitation agreement in the region.
Our drilling and seismic vessels will resolutely continue their activities in our continental shelf in the areas where our Government granted the Turkish Petroleum licenses in 2009 and 2012.
Likewise, unless the Greek Cypriots include the Turkish Cypriots, as the equal partners of the Island, into the decision making mechanisms regarding hydrocarbon resources or cease their unilateral hydrocarbon activities, Turkey will continue to protect the continental shelf rights of the Turkish Cypriots as well.