It is getting harder and harder to draw a map of the East Med and the competing maritime claims therein. I wanted to write a quick thread explaining some of the choices we made in our latest map.
It was important to label the Turkey-Libya MOU as a “new claim.” It really is. Even though it is couched in familiar language about “island EEZs” or Turkey’s “long coastline,” it does stake out brand new territory. We marked it as such.
Showing the Turkey-Libya MOU as a “new claim” also illustrates how close the new line is to Crete and Rhodes. It is quite a stretch to think that the edge of this area, an earshot away from Crete but over 150 NM away from the Turkish mainland, should be exploited by Turkey.
We also wanted to annotate the Greek claim as based on the “median line.” Greek officials are wary of throwing around maps. This is a default position based on the law, but not one that is explicitly shown cartographically. We labeled it that way.
It was also important to show that the Greek-Egypt delimitation made concessions against that median line (hence the kink as you move east past the 28º meridian). Greece understands that islands might not get 100% of the EEZ they might be theoretically entitled to.
This was worth highlighting because there is a persistent rhetoric about Greece making “maximalist” claims, even though the maps used for pressing that statement are not official maps and even though the agreement with Egypt shows something different.
It was also important to show where the Oruç Reis was this August. This is still largely in the areas that fall under the pre-Libya MOU areas, pressing Turkey’s claim over Kastellorizo, not the new areas created by the Libyan MOU.
Finally, it was important to remind folks that TPAO’s activities in the Cypriot EEZ continue—both in areas licensed by the TRNC (overlapping with licenses issued by the Republic of Cyprus) and in areas that Turkey claim as belonging to its Continental Shelf.
As I said, this is tricky business—and for everything we put in, we leave some things out. And the map will keep evolving.
Source: Nikos Tsafos
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