NICOSIA – Having gotten nowhere with previous complaints, Cyprus again wants the United Nations to do something about Turkey sending energy research ships into the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but there was no immediate response this time either.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who had failed to broker reunification of the island divided since 1974 unlawful Turkish invasion, the legitimate government said Turkey is repeatedly violating its sovereignty.
Turkey does not recognize the UN Law of the Seas, nor parts of Cyprus’ EEZ, and there was no indication what the government wants done other than to complain again as it has often in the past but been ignored.
In a Dec. 12 letter, published Dec. 31 and circulated as a UN Security Council document, Cyprus’ permanent UN representative, Kornilios Korniliou, described the activities of Turkish research vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa as illegal, Kathimerini reported.
In December 2018, Ankara issued three navigational telexes NAVTEX, reserving an area in the the Eastern Mediterranean for naval exercises and seismic surveys by the ship Barbaros, advising other vessels to steer clear.
The area stretches from the eastern edge of Greece’s continental shelf near the Dodecanese island of Kastellorizo to blocks 4 and 5 in Cyprus EEZ, near where foreign energy companies are being allowed to drill for oil and gas over Turkish objections.
“The aforementioned research constitutes a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey under international law and in particular of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the provisions of which have long been crystallized in the international customary law,” Korniliou said.
“Turkey has no legal rights to conduct exploration activities in relation to the island’s natural resources without the explicit consent of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. Therefore, all the seismic data collected by Turkey during this illegal and unauthorized research belongs to the Republic of Cyprus,” he added.