A Turkish diplomat unveiled a map showing the waters in the Mediterranean claimed by Turkey amid the ongoing confrontation with Cyprus and Greece over the exploration and drilling of oil and gas in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus (EEZ), the OilPrice portal reported.
After signing agreements with its own puppet state in occupied northern Cyprus and with a pseudo-government in Libyan Tripoli, Turkey claims to own half of the eastern Mediterranean, said The Century Foundation analyst Aron Lund.
And Turkey's Hurriyet Daily explains: "With the chart, Ça?atay Erciyes showed the outer boundaries of Turkey's continental shelf and EEZ, designated in a 2011 agreement between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the median line between Egypt and Turkey's mainlands and a recent memorandum with Libya."
Over the past year, Turkey has sent reconnaissance vessels for oil and gas drilling, military transport vessels related to the expansion of claims based on the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus (since 1974) into the Cypriot waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.
In neighboring Libya, Turkish military advisers continue to play a key role in supporting the Tripoli-based National Accord Government (STA) against the offensive led by the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar (LNA), and here Turkey is also busy expanding its navy.
"On Nov. 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an held a closed meeting in Istanbul that lasted over two hours with Fayez al-Sarraj, chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya," Hurriyet Daily reports further.
Two leaders reportedly entered into an agreement that is seen as key to expand Turkey’s maritime claims.
Stressing that Turkey has the longest continental coast line in the eastern Mediterranean, [Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman] Aksoy said: "The islands which lie on the opposite side of the median line between two mainlands cannot create maritime jurisdiction areas beyond their territorial waters and that the length and direction of the coasts should be taken into account in delineating maritime jurisdiction areas."
All this is happening amid tensions after Turkey claimed water stretching 200 miles from its coast stating it has the right to own a stretch of the Mediterranean that crashes into Greece’s exclusive economic zone.
Ankara has responded to the threats of EU sanctions, only reaffirming its rights to water in all parts of the coast of Cyprus.
If the Turkish military tries to strengthen its drilling requirements and stumble upon Cypriot and Greek ships, this could lead to a deadly battle that will force the EU and NATO to finally take action.