By Muhammed Tarhan
ANKARA (AA) - 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