Deal based on equity, cooperation, says international law expert Hakan Karan.
The Turkish-Libyan maritime deal signed in 2019 secured rights and balances in the Eastern Mediterranean, a Turkish law expert said Friday.
Hakan Karan, a senior international law expert at Ankara University told Anadolu Agency that the demarcation of the maritime borders and economic exclusive zones (EEZ) can be ensured through a treaty that would be based on equity or a court decision.
Cooperation between littoral states is a judicial obligation to reach such a treaty, he said, adding that Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus have been trying to exclude Turkey through one-sided policies and practices.
Karan asserted that Turkey, to protect its interests, responded to those efforts by reaching a deal with Libya, which was also isolated in the region, for the demarcation of maritime borders and EEZ.
Reaching a deal based on cooperation with Libya is an approach that is in line with the law, he added.
Hailing the deal, Karan said it permanently demarcated Turkey’s maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He, however, warned that maritime claims of other littoral states can overlap with Turkey’s maritime borders and thus it is essential to resolve the question with the participation of all littoral states in the region.
To contribute to the establishment of lasting peace, stability and security in Libya and to develop relations in all possible fields based on mutual benefit, Turkey and Libya signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the “Limitation of Maritime Jurisdiction” and “Security and Military Cooperation” on Nov. 27, 2019.
According to the US Geological Survey, the Mediterranean region is estimated to boast millions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic meters of natural gas, worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that the excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region, including maritime disputes, through international law, good neighborly relations dialogue and negotiations.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk
Maritime deal raised Turkey-Libya bilateral trade by 43%
‘Short distance to Europe, low costs, connection to 56 African countries make Libya critical for Turkey,’ says expert
Bilateral trade between Turkey and Libya soared by 43% to $2.3 billion in the last two years despite the pandemic thanks to the maritime boundaries agreement signed by the sides.
Murtaza Karanfil, the head of Turkey-Libya Business Council at Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board, said in a statement on Friday that the bilateral trade volume is expected to reach $3 billion for the first time as of the end of this year.
The agreement registered by the UN aims to protect the rights and interests of not only Turkey but also Libya, he said.
“Turkey’s support ensures Libya’s independence and internal peace. Turkey should attach importance to relations with Libya in order to protect the law in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Cyprus,” he added.
Libya has strategic importance as it is located at a 3-day sea distance from Turkey and has a road connection to 56 African countries, he underlined.
He added: “A short sea distance to Europe and low fuel, real estate, transportation and rental costs make Libya very important to us.”
* Writing by Gokhan Ergocun