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Turkey is trying to dominate the Medditeranean and once again raises the issue of Kastelorizo

16 September 2011 / 16:09:19  GRReporter
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Turkey threatens Israel with military actions and warns for the creation of a precedent in the sea area between Cyprus, Turkey and the Greek island of Kastelorizo ​​through the determination of a shelf with the unrecognized by the international community Northern Cyprus and increases tension in the Mediterranean.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who conducted a tour in North African countries to present himself as a major factor in the region warned Tunisia that "Israel will no longer do what they wants in the Eastern Mediterranean", because it will have to face the "determination "Turkey.

"Our frigates and other warships will be there at any moment," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan and stressed that they will protect not only the Turkish ships that are aimed at Gaza, but all ships sailing in international waters in the eastern Mediterranea. In an attempt not to follow the example of the Turkish military tones officials from Tel Aviv avoided to comment on the statements of the Turkish Prime Minister.

Turkey chose to launch its plan to respond in the moment when the floating drilling machine Noble Energy arrived to "plot 12" of the Cyprus exclusive economic zone, where in the next days the platform will be built.

According to communication of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ankara intends to "set a shelf" with the unrecognized by the international community Northern Cyprus, in the event that Nicosia starts drilling. At the same time the country began negotiations with Egypt for the start of general search for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea.

Commentators argue that the Turkish threat is mostly symbolic in nature, because such an agreement would not have the validity of a contract, precisely due to the fact that Northern Cyprus is not recognized by the UN. Any contract for the delimitation of maritime boundaries must be submitted in the international organization in order to be activated and have legal value.

On the other hand the actions of Turkey are yet another step towards the violation of peace negotiations. Its moves and the fact that the unrecognized Republic of Northern Cyprus will exercise in practice sovereignty rights is expected to cause tension in the relations with Cyprus and Greece.

An eventual delimitation of the shelf, as Turkey intends to do it would mean covering of a substantial part of Greek shelf and the exclusive economic zone in the region of Kastelorizo. Athens has already sent guidelines to the Greek Embassy in Ankara to lodge a protest note to the Turkish Foreign Ministry with a request to suspend all research activities. At the same time, the embassy of Athens in Oslo will contact the shipping company, to which the research ship belongs in order to disclose the Greek position. The vessel Malene Ostervold, which had caused the crisis in November 2008 in Kastelorizo was also Norwegian.

The spokesman of the Greek Foreign Ministry Grigoris Delavekouras stressed that such an agreement will be deemed invalid. "This can not be in any way related to the decision of Cyprus to focus on the utilization of its natural resources," he said.

As a "problem" was also described by the Greek side, the agreement between the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the new Egyptian government for the joint studies to detect oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean, because Turkey is trying their best to prevent the delimitation of the shelf between Greece and Egypt, by requesting that Kastelorizo is excluded from it. Thus, Turkey will have a sea border with Egypt on behalf of the Greek shelf.

A meeting between the Ministers of defense of Greece and Cyprus is expected to be held in Athens. Official government source denied the information published in Israeli electronic portal for the triggering of a military agreement between Greece and Israel after yesterday’s telephone conversation between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Tags: Politics Turkey exclusive economic zone Cyprus Israel petrol natural gas shelf Kastelorizo political tension
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