In a written statement made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, it has been noted that the press statement of the US State Department dated 5 May 2019, concerning Turkey’s drilling activities in its own continental shelf, is unrealistic.
In the Ministry statement it has been stressed that Turkey has made its position explicitly clear regarding its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2004 and continued as follows:
“Since then, we have brought to the attention of the relevant countries and the international community that the Greek Cypriot Administration’s EEZ delimitation agreements with the countries in the region are not valid for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and one of these agreements violates Turkey’s continental shelf rights. Similarly, Turkey has announced to the international community and registered with the UN its continental shelf in the region. Delimitation agreements based on equitable principles in accordance with international law have not yet been concluded among all relevant coastal states in the region.
Therefore, the attempts of third parties to act as an international court in determining maritime boundaries are unacceptable. In this context, the statement of the US regarding Turkey expressing that “there exist Greek Cypriot claims over the area” is neither constructive nor compatible with international law, given the fact that there is no valid maritime delimitation agreement in the region.
Our seismic vessels and drilling will resolutely continue their activities in our continental shelf in the areas where our Government granted the Turkish Petroleum licenses in 2009 and in 2012.
Likewise, unless the Greek Cypriots include the Turkish Cypriots, as the equal partners of the Island, into the decision-making mechanisms regarding hydrocarbon resources or cease their unilateral hydrocarbon activities, Turkey will continue to protect the continental shelf rights of the Turkish Cypriots as well.”