A copy of a controversial maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya leaked to the press on Thursday after Ankara shared the memorandum with parliament ahead of a vote in the coming days.
According to Turkish media, the memorandum establishes a boundary between Exclusive Economic Zones claimed by both Turkey and Libya. The agreement is also said to make reference to a continental shelf with outer limits reaching 18.6 nautical miles from the Turkish coast.
Ankara and Tripoli drew criticism last week after the two governments agreed on maritime border coordinates which are being challenged by at least three other countries, Greece, Egypt, and the Republic of Cyprus. Athens was said to be in posession of the document and reviewing the terms of the agreement, according to Kathimerini Greece.
The deal calls on both countries to inform each other on any discussions they might start with other countries on maritime jurisdiction
The agreement which has yet to be ratified by the Turkish parliament and Libya’s UN-recognized government, would also call on both countries to inform each other on any possible discussions they might start with third countries on maritime jurisdiction.
The Republic of Cyprus said through its foreign ministry that if such a deal were to go through, it would be a serious violation of international law.
Greece also criticized the deal, with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias saying it “ignores something that is blatantly obvious, a large geographical land mass of Crete which is between those two countries.”
Turkey has been rejecting the Greek position, arguing that islands that lie on the opposite side of the median line between two mainlands do not have the right to establish maritime jurisdiction areas.
Ankara says it does not wish to create tension in the area but insists on the principle of equitable delimitation based on comparative coastal lengths, essentially arguing that Greek islands off the Turkish coast as well as the western front of Cyprus ought not to have jurisdiction beyond territorial waters.