Continental Shelf Agreement

Last month, Turkey submitted to the UN Secretary-General a note verbale refining the geographical coordinates of its continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean, as established by a delimitation agreement with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (« TRNC »). The agreement was signed on 21 September 2011 and ratified by the Turkish government on 29 June 2012. A map published by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which represents the agreement, is reproduced below. (The reasons why the TRNC is in quotation marks are explained below.) By transmitting this document to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Turkey sought the publication of the agreed contact details in the Law of the Sea Bulletin (LSB), which publishes official notices of States on the law of the sea. Although Turkey has not acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), it has acted in accordance with Article 84(2) of the LOSC (appropriate publication of maps or lists of geographical coordinates with regard to the delimitation of the continental shelf). Nevertheless, Turkey`s deposit was not mentioned as an official deposit on the website of the Ministry of Oceans and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS). Article I of the Convention defined the term Shelf in terms of use and not geological definition. He defined a plateau « towards the seabed and subsoil of submarines adjacent to the coast, but outside the area of the coastal sea, up to a depth of 200 meters or, on the other side of that border, where the depth of the upper waters allows the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas » or « towards the seabed and subsoil of similar submarines adjacent to the island coasts ». [5] The continental shelf is the clandestine extension of the land area of a coastal nation. In accordance with international law, as expressed in article 76 of the Convention, this maritime area consists of the seabed and subsoil, which extend to the outer edge of the continental periphery or up to a distance of 200 nautical miles, when the outer edge of the continental periphery does not extend to that distance. Although the maximum extent of the EEZ is 200 nautical miles, the continental shelf can extend more than 200 nautical miles from the coast, depending on the depth, shape and geophysical properties of the seabed and seabed. The ECS is therefore not an extension of the EEZ. Some of the sovereign rights that a coastal state can exercise in the EEZ, including rights over water column resources (e.g.B.

pelagic fishing) do not apply to the ESC. Therefore, the continental delimitation agreement between Turkey and the separatist « TRNC » is not valid under international law, as the latter party is not a legitimate state entity. It cannot therefore be accepted by doalos as a legal deposit and published in the LSB. As expected, the above development provoked a reaction from the Republic of Cyprus and Greece, whose governments deplored the proposal and found the agreement unacceptable. . . .

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