“First, to preserve the rights of Turkish Cypriots and, secondly, to protect our interests in our continental shelf,” he said, stressing that the agreement on the delimitation of maritime borders with Libya was intended to do so. Turkey wants to cooperate with other countries in the eastern Mediterranean, the minister stressed. Turkish and Greek Cypriots should first agree to reach this understanding of cooperation, Avu-o-lu said. Technically, “maritime zones” are unilateral declarations of contiguous areas, EEZ borders or territorial coastal states within maritime areas that are not linked to other neighbouring states. On the other hand, “maritime borders” are in line with the restrictions imposed by an agreement to determine the relevant borders between states in the event of marine overlapping or multiple claims to the territory. “In accordance with the Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law, an amicable solution should be sought with regard to the delimitation of maritime zones between coastal or adjacent states, taking into account the individual circumstances of the case and justice. All coastal states involved must be involved in this process. This also applies to island states and continental states that have upstream islands. […] In the absence of prior consultation or any other involvement of the neighbouring coastal state of Greece and the delimitation of the maritime zone by agreement, the memorandum does not meet the requirements of international law. Second, the precise limits of maritime requirements that overlap with other states in the territories are clarified. “There is now an international dispute that theoretically limits Turkey`s capacity for action,” Syrigos said. The conflict between the Greek-Turkish maritime borders had probably crystallized long before the agreement between Turkey and Libya and the Greece-Egypt agreement. However, the nature, basic principles and exact geographic scope of these overlapping requirements are now much clearer. This is important to define the geographical scope of UNCLOS`s commitment to “not jeopardize or impede the completion of the final agreement” and restriction obligations under customary international law (see Barrett, Burke et al.
in the 2016 BIICL report on state obligations with respect to unrestricted maritime areas). He added that an agreement signed last November to “determine the areas of maritime jurisdiction between Turkey and Libya is registered by the countries of the United Nations.” The issue of border delimitation in the eastern Mediterranean has unique factors that must be taken into account when borders are defined. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNDSC) proposes a fair and legitimate distribution of maritime resources and the delimitation of maritime borders. While the geographical conditions of the region are at the heart of disputes over EEZs in the eastern Mediterranean, the policies of nations, in particular, are contrary to the convention`s fundamental principles, such as the principles of “justice,” “non-intervention” and “equitable geographical distribution.” The international legal order of the EEZ was governed by Articles 55-57 of Part V of UNCLOS of 1982. According to Article 57 of the Convention, “the exclusive economic zone shall not extend to more than 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the width of the sea of the coast is measured.” Since the distance between countries is less than 400 nautical miles in the region, the EEZ borders can only be determined by agreements between several states and, furthermore, the islands cannot have full control over the EEZs, so they cannot declare their sovereignty. The International Court of Justice has indicated that common law delimitations are carried out in accordance with “principles of fairness” and taking into account all “related situations” by an “agreement”.