Exclusive Economic Zone exploration blocks of the Republic of
Cyprus. Turkey has illegally sent its vessels to plunder Cyprus’ hydrocarbon resources
“Turkey’s latest unlawful incursion into the territorial waters
of the Republic of Cyprus is tantamount to another invasion”
said Lobby for Cyprus spokesperson VangelisChristou.
“In blatant disregard for international law, the Turkish vessel Fatih
and its support ships entered the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
of the free areas of Cyprus on or about Saturday 4 May. Turkey
intends to drill for hydrocarbon resources to which Turkey has no legal or moral claim”, explained Christou.
He went on to say that “Turkey, having already broken the law by invading, occupying and ethno-religiously cleansing 36 percent
of the territory and 57 percent of the coastline of Cyprus in 1974,
has now sent its drilling ship and support vessels to break the law
again by engaging in theft, plunder and pillage.”
Turkey has no right to appropriate for itself hydrocarbons lawfully belonging to Cyprus. Indeed, bearing in mind that Turkey has been
the occupying power in the northern area of Cyprus since 1974, any arbitrary extraction of Cypriot natural gas by Turkey would not only violate the United Nations Charter of 1945 and the United Nations
Law of the Sea Convention of 1982, the latter of which Turkey has
never signed. It would also constitute a war crime.
Article 6(b) of the Nuremberg Charter of 1945 brands plunder as a
war crime. Article 8.2(b)(v) of the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court of 1998 brands pillage as a war crime.
“It is no surprise that Turkey is not a signatory or a party to a host
of international treaties, including the United Nations International Convention of Law of the Sea of 1982 and the Rome Statute on
the International Criminal Court of 1998. After all, successive
Turkish governments have resorted to operating outside of the
law and the norms of civilised behaviour, particularly in regard
to Cyprus. The Turkish government continues to behave as a
regional bully and as if it were a colonial power that can steal
land, property and resources of other countries”, said Christou.
Lobby for Cyprus welcomes the statement by Federica Mogherini
(EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security
Policy / Vice President of the EU Commission) on 4 May 2019.
She expressed “grave concern over Turkey’s announced intention
to carry out drilling activities within the exclusive economic zone
of Cyprus”. Ms Mogherini urgently called on Turkey “to show
restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its exclusive
economic zone and refrain from any such illegal action to which
the European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity