The Cyprus Dispute | Zain Khan & Dr. Emete Gözügüzelli

The Cyprus Dispute | Zain Khan & Dr. Emete Gözügüzelli

Tactical Talk: Season 5 - Episode 58 | The Cyprus Dispute Explained | Zain Khan & Dr. Emete Gözügüzelli. Dr. Emete Gözügüzelli asst Professor at Bahçeşehir Cyprus University also an expert on Maritime Law, Energy and Maritime Jurisdiction Disputes discusses the Cyprus dispute with Zain Khan on Tactical Talk.

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Tactical Talk (Update) EuroAsia Enterconnecte Project is designed by EU which is an interconnector between Greek, Cypriot, and Egypt power grids via submarine power cable. the Greek Cypriot Administration, has issued a notice for the expropriation of the land for the HVDC converter station of the EuroAsia Interconnector, the 2000MW 1,518km subsea cable that will connect the electricity grids of Cyprus, Israel, Crete and Attica in Greece. This Project has been declared a European Union Project of Common Interest (PCI).

Through decree 714 published in the Official Gazette of Greek Cypriot, Issue No. 4841/2018, the government issued an expropriation order and description of the land site for the converter station located near Kophinou, saying “this was necessary for the purpose of the public good, being for the promotion and development of energy.” The decree concluded that as no objections were submitted within the predetermined timeframe, the Greek Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism executed his authority as determined by the Council of Ministers and ordered the expropriation of the said property in accordance with the provisions of the law which will be leased to the Project Promoter of the EuroAsia Interconnector. This Project is planned to finish in December 2020 for the Crete-Attica interconnection and December 2021 for both the Cyprus-Israel and Cyprus-Crete interconnections. The village of Kophinou was belonged to Turkish Cypriots in pre1974. Greek Cypriots without giving an information or compensation of TCs, acting against the international property law.

On the other hand, Greek Cypriots and Egypt have agreed on the route of a 1,707-kilometre sub-sea power cable that will link the grids of the two countries to that of Greece, EuroAfrica Interconnector, the company behind the Project. Main target is connect the electiricity grids of Greek Cypriot, Egypt and Greece with Europe. Additionally,  transforming Egypt as an electricity hub for Africa and agreed the electricity cable route, the landing point and the site of the HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) converter station”.In addition to the route of the cable also the timeframe of the project’s implementation, EuroAsia Interconnector. The EuroAfrica Interconnector project is parallel to a similar one dubbed the EuroAsia Interconnector, linking Israel with Greece through Cyprus via an underwater cable.

In fact all these efforts violate the Turkish Cypriots rights even Turkish maritime jurisdictions. In accordance to the UNCLOS,article 79(3) related to Submarine cables and pipelines on the continental shelf;

79(1) mentiones that All States are entitled to lay submarine cables and pipelines on the continental shelf, in accordance with the provisions of this article. Whereas article 79(3) bring restrictions to 79(1) which states The delineation of the course for the laying of such pipelines on the continental shelf is subject to the consent of the coastal State. This article is so clear. The Parties never demand any permission from Turkey. Whereas planned enterconnector cable lying Project  will passed into Turkish continental shelf. In this respect all them violate the international maritime law which can not be ignored.

On the other hand, in western Mediterranean Turkey gave licence to TPAO as shown below :

In accordance to this licencing agreement Turkey also has the rigth to prevent this cable lying in accordance to the article 79(2) of UNCLOS. This article points out that Subject to its right to take reasonable measures for the exploration of the continental shelf, the exploitation of its natural resources and the prevention, reduction and control of pollution from pipelines, the coastal State may not impede the laying or maintenance of such cables or pipelines.

TPAO activities in Turkish continental shelf may be evaluated as reasonable measures for the exploration of the continental shelf and the exploitation of its natural resources. Greek Cypriots and its supporters ignores the Turkish maritime jurisdictions in Mediterranean and acting against international law and its principles even case law,customary law. The main target of these group States ,particularly Greece and Greek Cypriot administration, western Mediterranean which the way of cable lying  in Project is belogned to their so called “EEZ” or “Continental Shelf”. If Turkey don’t make any objections to these steps, later they will use this chance for showing these areas “belonged to them”.

No person shall have the right to lay or use or operate a cable in the Continental Shelf of the Turkish Republic, without a licence from the competent authority. Additionally, Greek Cypriots have no right to violate and ignore Turkish Cypriots in Mediterranean.

From this point, Turkey should sent a letter regarding  its objections to UNGS and warned the sides which dont have the right making some steps in Turkish continental shelf without taking permission or giving official information. Because related Parties violate even article 300, which is related to Good faith and abuse of rights. In accordance to this article; States Parties shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed under this Convention and shall exercise the rights, jurisdiction and freedoms recognized in this Convention in a manner which would not constitute an abuse of right.

The Parties don’t acting in goodfaith and only constitute an abuse of the rights. This is not acceptable, at least Turkish Foreing Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made a speech before one days ago that the drilling activities in Mediterranenan will start soon ,and no concessions will be made against to the any rights of the Cypriot Turks”. It is expected that Turkish government, after presidental elections in Turkey,24 June 2018, will be more proactive in Mediterranean. This stance is the right of Turkey for protecting its maritime jurisdictions also. It should be note that the EASTMED pipline project also is planing to use Turkish continental shelf which same rules are valid, the related parties should take permission from Turkey.

In sum, the tension will increase in furhter coming  process and may hot tension will be ineviatable.

 

By: Asst.Prof.Dr. Emete Gözügüzelli (emete.gozuguzelli@cyprus.bau.edu.tr)

Bahçeşehir Cyprus University

Director Research Centre of the Sea and Maritime Law

 

1 COMMENT

  1. I read the article carefully and had the patience to listen to Mrs Gözügüzelli reading her notes on live TV….honestly that was kind of tedious but wanted listen to all she wanted to say. Ok, where to start, I literally do not know. This kind of analysis won’t stand a chance to not be ridiculed abroad and it is , i am sorry to say, a joke. Nobody will ever take you seriously except those who never escaped the local national press. The earth is not flat and it spins you know. You are citing international law and UN resolutions. But you kept cherry picking and actually used international law agreements that benefit greek cypriots. BASED ON INTERNATIONAL LAW, the only legal entity and government on the island of Cyprus and the rightful authority who can sign contracts on energy exploration is in the south… the republic of cyprus…so when you are referring to international law keep in mind that Greek Cypriots are the those who benefit from it….everything else you choose to interpret just went down the bin from that point. No, Greek cypriots do not have to consult with Turkey. At the moment and the median line is used to define maritime boarders. Continental shelf, thought not exactly the same, is today outdated since the 80s and won’t give any authority to Turkey around Cyprus EEZ. The fact remains that the republic of cyprus defined its boarders based on international law, as the only legal authority to do so on the island and signed already agreements with most of other neighbouring states. Turkey can ONLY proceed against greek cypriots at international court of justice, but they won’t cause that will mean recognition of the south ….and of of course, they will also lose for sure as legally, Turkey stands on soft ground. In the maps showed by Turkey, they claim the area southwest of Cyprus but……and this is the farcical thing of the claim….not on the southeast. This area is claimed by TRNC, and not just that, but almost all the area south of cyprus, leaving nothing to greek cypriots… All these claims , ridiculous as they are (the epitome of cherry picking), they are utterly lack of legal status. An unrecognised “pseudo state” and the country that established this entity……against another entity that is the only recognised government by everyone….UN, EU, International courts, islamic countries…you name it. As far as the pipelines and submarine cables, the areas which the east med pass through, have been studied and delineated with geometrical precision away from Turkish claims and accepted by the UN. But then AGAIN…. The Turkish claims are not sound, not precise but on the contrary, they are ludicrous and childish. There is no court in the world that would support the claims of Turkey on continental shelf because, as said before, they ignored all the area of a sovereign state in the region. Malta, which is a something like 30 times smaller than Cyprus has eez bigger than what greek cypriots now claim. Turkey has been ridiculed even more when Mr Hulusi Akar claimed from Libya where he was for a visit that Libya and Turkey share eez. Professing this way that Greece encroached on libyan eez….when greece and libya already signed agreements on that matter. Needless to say Mr Akar was shipped back to turkey and asked not to intervene with matters that do not concern neither him or Turkey. That is why people like like Mrs Emete Gözügüzelli are considered as clowns abroad and laughingstock, even by Turkish diplomats. They do not help the Turkish Cypriots but they only fit there purpose of misleading the local public opinion.

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