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This paper comprises three parts. The first part presents and substantiates Greece's legal position with regard to the process of unilaterally establishing an EEZ and analyses the basic concepts, the terms and conditions of this process before resorting to the International Court of the Law of the Sea (International Court of Hamburg). The second part presents the various scenarios, based on the Voronoi chartographic method, with regard to the delineation of the Greek-Turkish-Cypriot EEZ, with or without the complex of island Megisti-Strongyli and Ro. Moreover, Greece's losses in methane hydrates are presented in relation to the sumbarine mountains of Anaximenes, Anaxagoras and Anaximander, for both cases. The third part includes our geopolitical conclusions, through an analysis of Turkey's political behaviour, depending on its geo-strategic aims.
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LI. The Greek EEZ: Principles of a Geopolitical Analysis
[& G.-A. Sgouros]
[Published first in: Civitas Gentium 3:1 (2013), 109-32. (L‘article a été
publié aussi en grec, sous le titre de: I Elliniki AOZ et l’ île de Kastel-
lorizo, EPIKAIRA, ÉDITION SPÉCIALE, 2011, [Also published in:
Institute of Energy for South-Eastern Europe, Working Paper No. 17,
7/2013, 1-40]
I. Introduction
The latest developments in the geopolitical complex of the Eastern
Mediterranean and more in particular in the dipole of Greece and Tur-
key, correspond to the implementation stage for Turkey’s geostrategic
goals. This is witnessed, inter alia, by the declarations of the Turk-
ish Foreign Minister, A. Davutoğlu, during his latest visit in Greece,
in March 2011. The sincerity of these declarations should be taken
for granted, and should have been expected by the Greek diplomacy.
Needless to remind, that Davutoğlu’s positions had appeared already
in the 2001 first edition of his book Stratejik Derinlik. Türkiye’nin
Uluslararası Konumu, Küre Yayınları (İstanbul 2004). The book has
already been reprinted 18 times, in Turkey only.1 The author presents,
inter alia, his known theory of “zero friction with Turkey’s neighbors”.
However, he rejects his theory with regard to Greece, and refers to the
so–called strategic chock point of transport and defence–related flows
in the Dardanelles, as well as to the strategic importance of Thrace and
of Phanari (in Turkish, Fener)!
1. The book has been published also in Greek: Το Στρατηγικό Βάθος και η ∆ιεθνής
Θέση της Τουρκίας [Strategic Depth and Turkey's International Position], Poio-
tita, Athens 2010.
In other words, he posits that:
(a) At this geopolitical and geographical point of Turkish geostra-
tegic influence on the Balkan Peninsula and the Aegean Sea, Turkey is
faced with two, geostrategically competitive, poles of power: Greece and
Russia. It also sees the “Patriarchate of Phanari”2 (sic) as a geopolitical
catalyst of Greece’s geostrategic goals in this chock point and considers
that the Patriarchate, together with “the small Rum [Greek] community
aims to acquire an ecumenical character (sic!)”.3 With regard to Russia
and its claims on the Straits, Turkey’s officials posit that Russia “tries
to exercise influence on the Orthodox Slavs in the region of the Balkans
and of Caucasus”.4
(b) Thrace is the extension portal for Turkey’s neo–Ottoman influ-
ence in the Balkans. He considers that it is part of a “security zone cre-
ated in Eastern Thrace during the Cold War”, which must be “expanded
further to the West, based on multilateral and bilateral agreements that
will be concluded on the level of the Balkans”.5 Moreover, he posits that
this expansion is highly competitive vis–a–vis Russia, in absolute Cold
War terms, as a necessary element for the creation of “security aegises
in the periphery or outside it, aiming to counterbalance the Russian
factor in the region and mainly to prepare a master plan to guarantee
the internal security and the territorial integrity of Albania, of Bosnia
and of Macedonia (sic!)”.6
On the Dardanelles–Aegean Sea trade corridor, however, it is rea-
sonable for the Turkish Foreign Minister to include the Greek Dodeca-
nese and to posit, clearly and unreservedly, that “at this point, the geo-
political and military reality must be aligned with the economic and
political reality. In the same way, it is necessary to increase the depen-
dence of the Dodecanese on the continental plate of Asia Minor... (NB:
the author refers to Turkey and provides also a geopolitical dimension,
which he aims to utilize so as to disallow Kastellorizo from claiming
an EEZ or a continental shelf, even though the geopolitical dimension
2. NB: Davutoğlu refuses to designate the Patriarchate as “Ecumenical” and thus to
accept its ecumenical role for Orthodoxy worldwide.
3. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit., 201.
4. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit.
5. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit., 202.
6. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit., 202
is currently absent from the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea”.7
Three questions arise from the text of Davutoğlu:
1. What constitutes the danger for internal security and integrity of
these three nation–state entities?
2. Which is Turkey’s influence on the non–completion of the Russia–
Burgas (Bulgaria)–Alexandroupolis (Greece, Thrace) pipeline?
3. To what extent does Davutoğlu think that the designation of FY-
ROM as “Macedonia” reduces the friction between his country and
It is of course reasonable, in the context of the said geostrategic
Turkish frame-work, for Ankara to invest in naval bases in Albania,
since it insists on being involved as a “protective power” for the inter-
ests of Bosnia, and because it has recognized FYROM with its consti-
tutional name “Macedonia”.
However, and in order to fully explicate the intentions and the
meaning of Mr. Davutoğlu’s text, when referring to “zero friction with
Greece”, it is worth noting his remark that “effort is being put so that
Turkey familiarizes itself with tensions in its relations with Greece and
Syria: this corresponds to the training of a heavyweight wrestling ath-
lete to face a mid–weight athlete (sic!).8 This results in the country not
being able to utilize its full potential. Turkey is now obliged to upgrade
itself, so as to treat its relations with these countries from a higher level,
and only exercise policies from above towards them (sic!)”.9
However, in the geo–complex of the SE Mediterranean, the Turkish
Foreign Minister is right to include also Cyprus. It is where Davutoğlu’s
cynicism is clear in adopting the harshest possible classical principles of
“Geopolitik”. Citing from the FM’s text:
1. “The latest developments have shown that the US, by creating a
dynamic relation between their Eastern European and Middle Eastern
policies, aim to control Europe’s Hinterland and to fill the gap in the
geopolitical field that emerged after the dissolution of Soviet Union.
The Aegean Sea and Cyprus are two important elements, both on the
Eastern Europe Middle East axis, in terms of land connection, and on
7. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit., 235.
8. NB: What a “delicate” and “peaceful” approach!
9. A. Davutoğlu 2010, op. cit., 235.
the Adriatic Sea Eastern Mediterranean Gulf axis, in terms of sea con-
2. “(...) within this strategic planning, the Cyprus issue will come
to the foreground in a more drastic manner. (...) Nowadays, a field of
a highly dynamic interaction is formed between Eastern Europe, the
Balkan Peninsula, the Adriatic, the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean,
Middle East and the Gulf. (...) On this line, unifying the Balkans and
the Middle East, the development of new onsets will be unavoidable”.11
3. “[chapter section title] ‘The strategic Gordian knot of Turkey: Cyprus”
“Cyprus, having a central position within the global continent, and
being located at an almost equal distance from Europe, Asia and Af-
rica, is located together with Crete on a line traversing the maritime
corridors. Cyprus holds a location between the Straits separating Eu-
rope and Asia, the Suez Canal, separating Asia and Africa, while it also
acts as a stable base and an aircraft carrier catching the pulse of the sea
corridors of Aden and Ormuz, together with the basins of the Gulf and
the Caspian Sea, i.e. the most important routes connecting Eurasia with
4. “A country ignoring Cyprus cannot be active in world and pe-
ripheral politics. In world politics, it cannot be active, since this small
island occupies a position that (can) influence(s) directly the strategic
connections between Asia Africa, Europe Africa and Europe Asia. In
peripheral politics, it cannot be active, because Cyprus, with its East-
ern nose, stands as an arrow turned to the Middle East, while with its
Eastern back, it is the cornerstone of the strategic balances existing in
the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Balkans and in Northern Africa”.13
5. “Turkey, affected because of its location by a multitude of balanc-
es, is obliged to evaluate its policy on Cyprus, withdrawing it from the
equation of Turkish Greek relations. Cyprus is increasingly becoming
a matter of Eurasia and Middle East Balkans (Western Asia Eastern
Europe). Turkey’s policy on Cyprus must be placed in a new strategic
framework and in a manner compatible with this new strategic frame-
10. Stratejik Derinlik. Türkiye’nin Uluslararası Konumu, Küre Yayınları, İstanbul
2004, 18th edition, 1st edition 2001, 174.
11. Op. cit., 175.
12. Op. cit.
13. Op. cit., 176.
work. On the Cyprus issue, and from Turkey’s point of view, emphasis
can be put on two main axes. One of these axes is human value, and is
oriented towards safeguarding the security of the Muslim community,
as a result of Turkey’s historic responsibility”.14
6. “A possible incompetence of Turkey which will [eventually] be-
come prominent as pertains to safeguarding and protecting the Turkish
minority of Cyprus could expand as a wave in Western Thrace and in
Bulgaria, and indeed also in Azerbaijan and Bosnia. The second im-
portant axis of the Cyprus issue is the importance of this island from a
geostrategic point of view. (...) Even if there were no Muslim Turks on
Cyprus, Turkey would be obliged to have a Cyprus issue. No country can
be indifferent vis-a-vis such an island, located at the heart of its own
vital space (…)”.15
7. This geostrategic importance has two dimensions. One of these
has a major strategic importance and relates to the balances between
Turkey and Greece, and TRNC and Greek Territories (sic!) in the East-
ern Mediterranean. The second dimension of the geostrategic impor-
tance is major and relates to position of the island within the world and
peripheral strategies”.16
8. No peripheral or world power having strategic prospects in the
Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea, Suez, the Red
Sea and the Gulf can ignore Cyprus. Cyprus is located at an ideal dis-
tance from all those regions and acts as a parameter that can influence
each and every one of them. Turkey should exploit the strategic advan-
tage it gained in the 1970s on this parameter, not as an element of de-
fensive Cyprus policy aimed to safeguard the status quo, but as a funda-
mental support of an aggressive sea strategy of a diplomatic nature”.17
During his visit to Greece, the Foreign Minister’s statements went no
further than his academic publications. Therefore, there is no room for
surprise in Athens. And the criticism by the mass media and Greek dip-
lomatic commentators should not relate to his... bourgeois politeness and
his... good manners! Any criticism should relate to the level of geopoliti-
cal and geostrategic perception of the System of SE Mediterranean. It
14. Op.cit., 178.
15. Op.cit., 179.
16. Op.cit., 179.
17. Op.cit., 180.
would be better to have no criticism at all, than to have this kind of criti-
cism. One of the issues that must be taken seriously into consideration
by Turkey, in response to the theories of Ahmet Hodja, is its proper
position with regard to the demarcation of a Greek EEZ, which should
not be delayed, given that the intents of Turkey have now been made
clear, and are posited by officials, even in scientific contexts... In other
words, in the context of the greater geopolitical game and the geopoliti-
cal re-forms developing in the Eastern Mediterranean and the oil–bear-
ing Muslim world, both on and beyond the Mediterranean coastline,
three are the main focal points for demarcating a Greek EEZ:
(a) Greece’s significant relations with Israel and the important po-
litical sup-port that is openly offered by Jerusalem to Athens is a major
political trust, which should not be consumed without a reason or be
limited to the exchange of official visits between the two states. Greece’s
current state of economy urges in this direction, while waiting and na-
vel–gazing are no aid at all. On the contrary, they diminish the level of
trust shown by Jerusalem to Athens.
(b) The discovery of natural gas reserves in Israel’s EEZ should be
channeled to the European market, as soon as possible, particularly
amidst the energy instability caused by the explosion of national social
formations in Tunisia (natural gas), Libya (natural gas and high quality
crude oil) and Egypt (new natural gas reserves in the Nile Delta region
and in the submarine areas north of the Delta, within the Egyptian
EEZ). Consequently, the axis of flow of non-Arab–Muslim and non–
Russian hydro-carbons towards the EU is the one defined by the Israel
Cyprus Greece (Kastellorizo-Crete-Ionian Sea) EU route.
(c) Recent geophysical explorations in Cyprus would lead, mathe-
matically and within the next 5 to 10 years, to corresponding processes
also in the Greek space, both on land and on sea, either willingly by
Athens with the corresponding benefits for the stalling Greek economy
or unwillingly and without such benefits!18
The said 5 to 10 year period is defined as the time necessary for
the commencement of the exploitation of the Leviathan reserve in the
Israeli EEZ, given that the Noble Energy & Delek (Israel) consortium
18. On the condition, of course, that there will be a government body for the exploi-
tation of these deposits in Greece.
is currently preparing a storage facility for LNG derived from this re-
serve, as well as a storage facility for carbon monoxide produced from
the completion of the drilling. However, achieving this target requires
the demarcation of the Greek EEZ, properly timed and in consultation
with the Cypriot and the Israeli authorities. However, any timing on the
part of Greece should take into consideration the developments in the
region and make proper use of them, together with the said 5 to 10 year
period, within which any legal arrangements before international judi-
cial bodies (Hamburg) must be finalized. Moreover, Greece resorting to
international adjudications for the final settlement of the boundaries
between the Greek and the Turkish Eels, even if this would mean partly
waiving Greece’s EEZ, e.g. about 25% of its total area, would be pref-
erable to waiving its rights over the entire area, together with the cor-
responding prospective methane hydrate deposits of the Anaximander
Mountains.19 In this paper, our effort is to exemplify the evolution of
the geopolitical game, in the context of delineating Greece’s EEZ by
applying the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.
II. Current Situation: Measures and Estimations for the
Greek EEZ
Before discussing the size and the geopolitical importance of the
EEZ, it is necessary to give an account of the most important elements
of its legal definition, so as to avoid doubts and misinterpretations. We
shall refer to the new Convention of the Law of the Sea, i.e. the 1982
Montego Bay Convention.20
19. As pertains to methane hydrates, see our publication in Epikaira 26 (15-21
April 2010).
20. The 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) includes precise
definitions of the Territorial Sea, the Contiguous Zone, and the Exclusive Eco-
nomic Zone (EEZ). UNCLOS was signed in Montego Bay of Jamaica and its
implementation started on 16 November 1994, replacing four precedent inter-
national treaties. In a vote that took place on 30 April 1982 in New York on the
ratification of the new convention, 130 states voted for, 4 voted against and 17
abstained. Turkey was one of the states that voted against the convention. By
the end of 2008, UNCLOS had been ratified by 157 states, including Cyprus (12
1. Article 55. “The exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and
adjacent to the territorial sea, subject to the specific legal regime estab-
lished in this Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal
State and the rights and freedoms of other States are governed by the
relevant provisions of this Convention [Montego Bay, 1982]”.
2. Article 56. “In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has:
(a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserv-
ing and man-aging the natural resources, whether living or non–living,
of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil,
and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and ex-
ploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water,
currents and winds; (b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant pro-
visions of this Convention with regard to: (i) the establishment and use
of artificial islands, installations and structures; (ii) marine scientific
research; (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environ-
ment; (c) other rights and duties provided for in this Convention”.21
3. Article 57. “The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond
200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the ter-
ritorial sea is measured”.22
An example from the Greek case is the following: Breadth of the ter-
ritorial sea + width of the EEZ = 200 nm. In the present, in the current
state of affairs, i.e. of the Greek territorial sea extending to 6 nm, this
equation reads as follows: 6 nm + 194 nm = 200 nm = EEZ!
“This means that the notion of the EEZ currently includes both the
traditional sovereign rights which the coastal state exercised on the con-
tinental shelf, i.e. on the natural resources of the seabed and the sub-
soil of its adjacent marine areas, and the new sovereign rights related
to re-search, exploitation and preservation of the natural resources of
the overlying waters, i.e. mainly of fish catches. Moreover, additional
jurisdictions were given to the coastal state (i.e. exclusive authoriza-
tions) with regard to installing and using artificial islands and other
December 1988) and Greece (21 July 1995).
21. V. Karakostanoglou, The Exclusive Economic Zone in the New Law of the
Sea, Sakkoulas, Thessaloniki 2001, 54, 559 (Section V, Provisions of the 1982
Convention on the EEZ; source: Act no. 2321 (Greek Government Gazette
22. V. Karakostanoglou, op.cit., 54.
constructions, to conducting scientific research and to protecting the
marine environment from pollution. There was no consequence for the
traditional freedoms of international communication of the other states
within the limits (navigation, overflights, and placement of cables and
pipelines). This new institution, that was already applied extensively in
the practice of states, even before its contractual establishment, consti-
tutes already part of the customary international law”.23
However, as pertains to the continental shelf, the formulations are
quite clear and are indeed reinforced by the 1982 Montego Bay Conven-
tion. On the basis of this Convention,24 one of the most vexed issues
of the Law of the Sea was resolved: an agreement was reached on the
breadth of the territorial sea, which can now reach a limit of 12 nautical
miles (nm). Indeed, this rule has also become customary, owing to its
extensive use. Moreover, in view of delineating over-lapping territorial
seas, the median line principle was adopted, with very few exceptions
(article 15). This principle can cover fully the case of Greece and Turkey.
Moreover, it should be mentioned that the rights exercised by the
coastal state having the said continental shelf are exercised in the form
of “sovereign rights”: in other words, no other state can lay claim to such
rights, even if the coastal state in question fails to exercise such rights
in practice. Also, it should be stressed that, based on a resolution of the
International Court of Justice in Hague (North Sea Continental Shelf
case,25 such rights exist in favor of the coastal state, ipso jure and ab ini-
tio, without this state having to take any legal action in this respect.26
Let us make, however, one more clarification with regard to the con-
tinental shelf: the continental shelf and its regime, as is currently de-
fined in the International Law, are ceded to the coastal state, for both
practical and political reasons. How is this notion distinguished from
its geological definition? Based on the 1982 Montego Bay Convention
on the Law of the Sea, the continental shelf of a coastal state comprises
basically the seabed, within a distance of 200 nautical miles from the
23. V. Karakostanoglou, op.cit., 53-54.
24. V. Karakostanoglou, op.cit., 53-54.
25. See ICJ Reports (1969), par. 19 in: V. Karakostanoglou, op. cit., 42.
26. See: K. Economides, «Main Provisions of the New Law of the Sea», Dikeo ke
Politiki [Law and Politics], Paratiritis, Thessaloniki 1985, 176–177 (in Greek).
In: V. Karakostanoglou, op. cit., 42.
coast. This principle applies regardless of the geological formation of
the seabed. However, in case the continental margin (continental shelf,
continental slope and continental rise) extends beyond 200 miles from
the baseline, the continental shelf is deemed to extend either up to 350
nm or up to 100 nm beyond the 2,500 meter contour, or up to 60 nm
from the base of the continental rise.2728
Until today, all mentions of the Exclusive Economic Zone have as their
point of reference the database of the Flanders Marine Institute, which is
to date used widely in all publications in the press that relate to the issue
of the EEZ. However, as mentioned by the Flanders Marine Institute,
the construction of the EEZ is theoretical. In practice, this implies that
a scientifically accepted method has indeed been adopted, albeit without
accuracy or safeguards for the detailed demarcation of the EEZ.
It is however obvious that Greece has to date relied on the map pub-
lished by the said institute ( It is worth mentioning,
however, that this post includes the following:
1. “Disclaimer: Maritime limits and boundaries depicted on Sea
Around Us Project maps are not to be considered as an authority on
the delimitation of international maritime boundaries. These maps are
drawn on the basis of the best information available to us. Where no
maritime boundary has been agreed, theoretical equidistant lines have
been constructed. Where a boundary is in dispute, we attempt to show
the claims of the respective parties where these are known to us and
show areas of overlapping claims. In areas where a maritime boundary
has yet to be agreed, it should be emphasized that our maps are not to
be taken as the endorsement of one claim over another”.
2. With regard to the accuracy of demarcation: “The EEZ boundar-
ies we use in our database were adapted from the public domain “Mari-
time Boundaries Geodatabase” available from the Flanders Marine In-
stitute (VLIZ, Belgium), overlaid onto the ½ degree x ½ degree spatial
27. Unofficially, it has been argued that in the case of Greece, e.g. south of Crete, where
the physiography and the steep bathymetry exceed 2,500 m., the extension of the
continental shelf reaches only 100 nm. This is of course a misunderstanding. Based
on the definition of this paragraph, the 100 nm extension is possible only beyond the
200 nm line. The authors hope they have aided in the resolution of this ambiguity.
28. See: E. Roukounas, International Law. Vol.2: The State and the Territory: The
Law of the Sea, Sakkoulas, Athens 2005, (in Greek).
cells GIS system of our database. Given the ½ x ½ degree nature of our
GIS system, area measurements of EEZs based on our data may differ
slightly from those of other systems, and should be considered approxi-
mations. Note also that we deal with major disputed areas and unsettled
boundary disputes by presenting the areas as non–country specific ‘dis-
puted areas’ with reference to those countries involved in the claim.
Also note (1) that some countries (e.g., around the Mediterranean) have
not declared EEZ, in which case we defined EEZ boundaries for these
countries based on data and the general methods used by the Flanders
Marine Institute, as if these countries were to apply the UNCLOS rules
to their definitions, (2) that some countries (notably European Union
member states) do not use EEZ for fisheries management. Surface areas
are expressed in km² and were obtained by overlaying a global 2minute
cell ESRI GRID of surface area values with a matching ESRI GRID of
EEZs (based on General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems da-
tabase, see above). For each EEZ the intersecting surface area based on
the 2minute raster was extracted and summed. The area of each ‘EEZ
shelf’ was prepared in a similar way but was truncated at 200 m depth,
i.e., at the shelf edge, based on the United States National Geophysical
Data Centre’s ETOPOS GLOBAL 2’ ELEVATION data ”.
The general conclusion drawn from these paragraphs is as follows:
The maps have been drawn using the best information available,
without reference to the degree of accuracy of such information. For
this reason, any reference to this database is without legal documenta-
tion. In spite of this fact, data gathered from official Internet sources
leads to the conclusion that the de-limitation of the EEZ, even in the
context performed by the Flanders Marine Institute, have been derived
from a database created by a pertinent European re-search programme
focused on the erosion of coasts.29 In the said database, Turkey’s coast-
line is generic, to such an extent so as not to follow the geomorphol-
ogy of the Turkish coastline with accuracy. However, there is a specific
delimitation of baselines by Turkey (see Figs. 2 and 3). The Flanders
Marine Institute does not clarify if this form of the Turkish coastline
was used for calculating the median line or the baselines.
29. Erosion GIS Database,
As pertains to the accuracy of the demarcation of the EEZ, there is no
clear conclusion to be drawn from the information provided on the said
website ( However, as regards the Greek insular coastline
in particular, as well as the coastline of Turkey, which is characterised by
a clearly notched geomorphology, it is obvious that more precision is in-
dispensable, so as to specify both the points and the drawing lines.
Consequently, there is no guarantee for Greece that the map pro-
posed by the above–mentioned institute is a sound legal basis that could
be used by the Greek authorities to safeguard national sovereignty (sea
borders between Greece and Turkey, Greece and Albania, Greece and
Libya, Greece and Cyprus, Greece and Egypt). For reasons of scientific
method, the authors have considered that the same procedure should be
applied, with the required accuracy and by necessarily taking into con-
sideration the legal clauses that govern the geometrical drawing. This
method proves that there should be no room for complacency on the
Greek side, while also providing the Greek authorities with examples of
geometrical drawings, which Greece would probably have to confront,
if and when it resorts, without prior preparation, to the international
judicial fora or if it relies on its common arguments about the continen-
tal shelf or the EEZ (an issue that is, surprisingly, stressful for Greek
politics). For example, in the maps below (Figs. 4, 5), the deviations are
clear between the sea borders that are drawn using the Voronoi diagram
method and by respecting the said accuracy of geometrical drawing, on
the one hand, and the non–accurate borders proposed by the Flanders
Marine Institute, subject to the said reservations, on the other.
III. Demarcation of an EEZ between Greece and Turkey. Re-
quirements and limitations subject to the 1982 Internatio-
nal Law of the Sea
In view of demarcating the EEZ between Greece and Turkey, we have
taken into consideration all of the international rules emanating from
the said Articles 55 and 56 of the Law of the Sea. Besides, the process is
based also on corresponding cases of application of the Law of the Sea,
in delineating the EEZ of other countries as well, particularly in cases
where the “median line”30 method was implemented. In particular, and
given that this is a geographical process,31 the following rules and limi-
tations were taken into consideration:
(a) For Greece: Points of the physical coastline were taken into consid-
eration, on the bases of which straight lines were drawn according to the
definitions derived from the Law of the Sea. Therefore, the basic level of in-
formation is the list of points that make up the line segments of the baselines.
(b) For purely technical reasons, we performed also an analysis of the
Turkish baselines. Where possible, we increased the number of points of
Turkey’s physical coastline, particularly at areas where the distance be-
tween the two coastlines is very small. In other words, we increased the
number of points, so as to increase the accuracy of the baseline calculation.
Using special mapping software, we geo–referenced the map depicted in
Fig. 3. The endpoints of the baseline segments are the second basic level of
(c) The information below is addressed to readers who are unfa-
miliar with the notion of baselines. According to the Law of the Sea,32
30. Cosquer, G., Hangouët, J. F., «Delimitation of Land and Sea Boundaries: Geo-
detic and Geometric Bases», FIG Working Week 2003, Paris, April 13-17, 2003.
This article refers to the separation of the EEZs between Qatar and S. Arabia
in 1999, using Voronoi transformations. See also: Christensen, A.H.J., «A Fully
Automated Sea Boundary Delineator», Proceedings of FIG XXII International
Congress, Washington, D.C. USA, April 2002, Session JS12 Marine Cadaster
[ Js12/JS12_christensen.pdf].
31. This is distinguished from Topography or any other measurement method, since
Geography examines the solution of the problem in its entirety, and in the most
comprehensive way, both topographically and from a legal and historical view-point.
32. Articles 5 and 7 of the UNCLOS refer to the preconditions for drawing the base-
lines, as follows: “Normal baseline. Except where otherwise provided in this Con-
vention, the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the
low water line along the coast as marked on large–scale charts officially recognized
by the coastal State Straight baseline. In localities where the coastline is deeply
in-dented and cut into, or if there is a fringe of islands along the coast in its im-
mediate vicinity, the method of straight baselines joining appropriate points may
be employed in drawing the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is
measured. Where because of the presence of a delta and other natural conditions the
coastline is highly unstable, the appropriate points may be selected along the fur-
thest seaward extent of the low–water line and, notwithstanding subsequent regres-
sion of the low–water line, the straight baselines shall remain effective until changed
by the coastal State in accordance with this Convention. The drawing of straight
there are two types of baselines:
-Normal baselines, calculated from the low–waterline (Article 5);
baselines must not depart to any appreciable extent from the general direction of
the coast, and the sea areas lying within the lines must be sufficiently closely linked
to the land domain to be subject to the regime of internal waters. Straight baselines
shall not be drawn to and from low–tide elevations, unless lighthouses or similar
installations which are permanently above sea level have been built on them or
except in instances where the drawing of baselines to and from such elevations has
received general international recognition. Where the method of straight baselines
is applicable under paragraph 1, account may be taken, in determining particular
baselines, of economic interests peculiar to the region concerned, the reality and
the importance of which are clearly evidenced by long usage. The system of straight
baselines may not be applied by a State in such a manner as to cut off the territorial
sea of another State from the high seas or an exclusive economic zone.
Fig. 1: Depiction of the baseline drawing method, according to the UNCLOS
(Source: Harold D. Palmer, Η., Pruett, L., (1999) GIS Applications In Maritime
Boundary Delimitation, <>)
-Straight baselines, in cases where the coastline presents an irregular
geo-morphology (Article 7), for example if it is notched. The method of
calculation used with regard to baselines in cases of rivers, bays, ports
and generally of any other geomorphological irregularities depending,
for example, by the tidal, wave or wind regime, is defined in Articles 8
to 15 of the Law of the Sea. Based on the above, every state can define
its baselines in order to delineate its territorial sea and, by extension,
the EEZ.
Fig. 2: The Turkish Baselines (marked in red)
(Source: Office of the Geographer, US Department of State)
Fig. 3: The Turkish Baselines (detail; marked in red)
(Source: Office of the Geographer, US Department of State)
Fig. 4: The white dotted line represents the median line of the EEZ, as calculated
by the Flanders Marine Institute. The mistakes are obvious, since this median
line coincides with land, within the Turkish territory! The second drawing was
performed by the authors, based on points of the physical coastline and using
Voronoi transformations
Fig. 5: The limits of the Greek EEZ (Voronoi method), in E Aegean, from the
Dardanelles to Kastellorizo, based on the already drawn baselines Turkey’s coast-
line (Fig. 2), compared to the (admittedly inaccurate) alternative of the Flanders
Marine Institute. The differences are all but insignificant
Fig. 6: Using the baselines of the Turkish coastline, it can be seen that Turkey’s
EEZ contacts the EEZ of Egypt, at a length of 10 nautical miles approximately
Fig. 7: Distribution of methane hydrates by EEZ (Georeference and overlay of
a map included in Lykousis et al., 2009).33
33. Lykousis et al., «Mud Volcanoes and Gas Hydrates in the Anaximander Moun-
tains (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)», Marine and Petroleum Geology 26:6
(2009), 854-72.
Fig. 8: Distribution of methane hydrates by EEZ without Kastellorizo
(Georeference and overlay of a map included in Lykousis et al., 2009). There
are clear differences, compared to Fig. 7.
IV. Turkey defines in advance, and without official statements,
the limits of the EEZ using its own baselines and its own
specification of points on its physical coastline, using the
same calculation principle: Obstructing the OGS Explora
The incident that took place with the obstruction of the sailing of the
OGS Explora research vessel is an indication that Turkey’s competent
authorities have already adopted the same method, in view of demarcat-
ing their own EEZ. The ship was performing mapping works for the de-
ployment of a submarine cable from Haifa (Israel) to Italy. The incident
was reported extensively also in the Greek Press.
However, what is not obvious to date, is that this obstruction took
place exactly along the EEZ demarcation limits, as detailed in this pa-
per (see Fig. 9).
Let us examine the incident in geographical detail: the said map de-
picts that the course of the Italian research vessel (Explora) extends
tangentially with respect to the demarcation proposed by the authors,
i.e. through the narrowest point of contact between the EEZs of Turkey
and Cyprus. The course of the steep and unreasonably diverging curve
Fig. 9: The mapping course of OGS Explora
that is marked between points [1. 24/03/2011 00:00 UTC; 2. 24/03/2011
12:00 UTC; and 3. 25/03/2011 00:00 UTC] is, remarkably, located with-
in the EEZ that has been demarcated by the authors using the Voronoi
method, which Turkey considers to be its own EEZ. It is for this rea-
son that Turkey annoyed the Italian vessel while it was still within the
Cypriot EEZ and before it entered into what Turkey considers to be its
own EEZ. Obviously, it is for this reason that the Italian vessel was
forced to request a second transit passage permission from the Turkish
This fact proves that Turkey tries to preoccupy the international
community to accept the limits of the EEZ which this country will
claim to be its own, if Greece insists on its initial official statements
and does not concede to the irrational Turkish claim that the islands of
Kastellorizo, Strongyli and Ro have no EEZ. Of course, this should be
taken into serious consideration by Greece, so as to make the appropri-
ate moves and to support its own arguments in a manner analogous
to Turkey and thus raise the level of negotiation, if it aims to achieve a
final result, better than the one depicted on the above map. In short, the
Archipelagic–type baselines in the Aegean insular complex should not
be rejected in principle as irrational. They are simply a response to Tur-
key’s legal irrational and arbitrary claim that “the islands of the Aegean
have no continental shelf” and that “Kastellorizo is part of the Mediter-
ranean”. Let us think clearly: what will we waive before an international
court of justice, so as to make Turkey waive such legal nonsense?
V. Geopolitical Conclusions
1. Based on the above, it is concluded that, on the one hand, the EEZ
which must be demarcated for its drawing to apply, is an indispensable
part of both the conventional and the customary Law of the Sea, which
is applicable inter-nationally and, on the other, that it is an unalienable
and unique right of the coastal state concerned, to proceed to such a
2. Besides, it should be made clear that the European and, mainly,
the Anglo–Saxon geostrategic direction have changed. These two inter-
national poles of power (the EU and the USUK [special relationship])
purport to be independent from the Russian, Iranian and Arab–Islamic
energy reserves. Also, in the light of this explanation, the Anglo–Sax-
ons of the said special relation-ship have no positive outlook for a fu-
ture dependence of the EU on Russia’s natural gas, the retailer and
distributor of which will be Germany in the EU. This is their chance to
avoid this scenario: the deposits of Israel and Cyprus, together with the
natural gas deposits of Greece (south of Crete, and in the Ionian Sea
and up to the Adriatic) offer an ideal solution. Consequently, anyone
raising obstacles to this geostrategic development (which in our case
is, arguably, Turkey only) would have to face the harsh response of the
so–called “West”, i.e. of the EU and of the London–Washington Special
Relationship. Naturally, the Israeli factor, which is able to influence
the Special Relationship, will clearly contribute to the same direction!
It should be stressed, however, that Greece should proceed to a tripar-
tite arrangement of its EEZs with Egypt and the Republic of Cyprus,
without any further delay, so as to safeguard the contact between the
Greek and the Cypriot EEZ. If it fails to do so, Turkey will intervene to
render this contact impossible, using the method of the non–calculation
of the insular complex of Megisti, Strongyli and Ro. Moreover, in this
way it will be in a position to lay claims on the methane hydrates of the
area south and south–east of this insular triangle (see: Ι.Θ. Μάζης &
Γ.Α. Σγούρος, «Κοιτάσματα στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο», Επίκαιρα
26, 15-21/4/2010), like in the western side of the EEZ of Cyprus and the
eastern side of the EEZ of Crete, at the region of the Herodotus basin,
where there is a Greek portion of natural gas deposits of about 1 trillion
cubic meters, based on data published already (in the US, in France and
in Norway). From a legal standpoint, however, an interfering Turkish
EEZ would not obstruct the passage of LNG tankers or the deployment
of cables and pipelines through the seabed of the EEZ, even if “politi-
cal manipulations” end up in this area being considered Turkish sub-
soil. However, Turkey’s behaviour is no guarantee that it will ultimately
respect the international rule of law. In this sense, it is imperative to
eliminate such an eventuality, through a direct tripartite settlement.
Consequently, there is no excuse for phobic syndromes in Athens, with
regard to decisive and targeted actions in the SE Mediterranean.
Longitude Latitude Date Time (UTC)
19.54864394 38.75627636 01/03/2011 12:00
34.31461988 32.30308265 16/03/2011 12:00
20.27412338 38.45941995 02/03/2011 00:00
34.69361293 32.10351989 17/03/2011 00:00
19.77606556 38.39994236 02/03/2011 12:00
34.70406405 32.09263813 17/03/2011 12:00
19.23230545 38.18801132 03/03/2011 00:00
34.52614056 32.1893837 18/03/2011 00:00
19.12773265 38.58146818 03/03/2011 12:00
34.74941083 32.09853237 18/03/2011 12:00
19.04123693 38.8907598 04/03/2011 00:00
34.55671241 32.16473256 19/03/2011 00:00
19.26997176 38.19838734 04/03/2011 12:00
34.4409488 32.24399508 19/03/2011 12:00
19.39012291 37.89053869 05/03/2011 00:00
34.46278109 32.22730121 20/03/2011 00:00
19.42593935 37.91982608 05/03/2011 12:00
34.43521931 32.21398326 20/03/2011 12:00
19.56320639 37.53244746 06/03/2011 00:00
34.58121474 32.1616878 21/03/2011 00:00
19.75520449 37.22816118 06/03/2011 12:00
34.69105333 32.10570531 21/03/2011 12:00
19.9995163 36.62879841 07/03/2011 00:00
34.73302836 32.09076871 22/03/2011 00:00
21 .25258041 35.51248901 07/03/2011 12:00
34.36973676 32.34036047 22/03/2011 12:00
21 .26920029 35.44261358 08/03/2011 00:00
32.50170482 33.02431731 23/03/2011 00:00
21 .81561196 35.25304177 08/03/2011 12:00
30.90700531 33.6232053 23/03/2011 12:00
22.13413998 35.55149759 09/03/2011 00:00
30.4880118 33.86267863 24/03/2011 00:00
22.10950901 34.99135279 09/03/2011 12:00
30.18569885 34.07618242 24/03/2011 12:00
22.94419274 34.7589153 10/03/2011 00:00
29.65354848 33.88726912 25/03/2011 00:00
24.45665888 34.26915552 10/03/2011 12:00
29.12024033 33.89065352 25/03/2011 12:00
26.03069533 33.91794011 11/03/2011 00:00
28.33604448 33.9402963 26/03/2011 00:00
27.35336309 34.01424628 11/03/2011 12:00
26.54837781 33.97491121 26/03/2011 12:00
27.05243441 34.02014483 12/03/2011 00:00
24.63182485 34.20557862 27/03/2011 00:00
28.1903392 33.94621999 12/03/2011 12:00
22.86361943 34.79581268 27/03/2011 12:00
30.30942259 33.79252871 13/03/2011 00:00
21.11747214 35.65420847 28/03/2011 00:00
32.79504948 32.97828961 14/03/2011 00:00
19.58844488 37.09085205 28/03/2011 12:00
34.24536097 32.33772488 14/03/2011 12:00
19.45998169 37.21148163 28/03/2011 13:00
34.66414467 32.12105508 16/03/2011 00:00
Fig. 10: It is noted that the course of OGS Explora extends tangentially to the
drawing presented in this paper, i.e. through the narrowest point of contact of
the Cypriot and the Turkish EEZ. The course of the steep curve between points
[1. 24/03/2011 00:00 UTC; 2. 24/03/2011 12:00 UTC; and 3. 25/03/2011 00:00
UTC] is, remarkably, located within the EEZ that has been demarcated by the
authors using the Voronoi method, which Turkey considers to be its own EEZ
Fig. 11: Detail of Fig. 9. The course of OGS Explora and the location of the
said annoyance and deviation from the prede ned course (in rectangular frame).
Below, the same location with respect to the Turkish perception of the limits of
the Turkey–Egypt, Greece–Turkey, Greece–Cyprus and Cyprus– Turkey EEZs.
Cosquer, G., Hangouët, J. F., «Delimitation of Land and Sea Boundar-
ies: Geodetic and Geometric Bases», FIG Working Week 2003, Paris,
April 13-17, 2003
Davutoglu, Ahmet, Το Στρατηγικό Βάθος και η ∆ιεθνής Θέση της
Τουρκίας [Strategic Depth and Turkey’s International Position],
Poiotita, Athens 2010 [in Greek]
Economides, K., «Main Provisions of the New Law of the Sea», Dikeo ke
Politiki [Law and Politics], Paratiritis, Thessaloniki 1985 [in Greek]
Karakostanoglou, V., The Exclusive Economic Zone in the New Law
of the Sea, Sakkoulas, Thessaloniki 2001
Lykousis et al., «Mud Volcanoes and Gas Hydrates in the Anaximander
Mountains (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)», Marine and Petroleum
Geology 26:6 (2009), 854-72
Roukounas, E., International Law. Vol.2: The State and the Territory:
The Law of the Sea, Sakkoulas, Athens 2005
One of the most important reasons for the Israeli–Greek rapprochement had to do with energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which was integrally related to the new natural gas findings in Israel and Cyprus at a time of European energy dependence on Russia. Discussions quickly ensued in Nicosia and Jerusalem, concerning plans and options aiming to exploit and export at least part of this energy wealth. As will be shown in some detail, Israeli–Cypriot cooperation involved historic political visits, improved economic relations, and, above all, close coordination on energy matters. The rapprochement was also widely supported by the peoples of Cyprus. During the same period, tensions were rapidly rising in the region. As relations between Ankara and Jerusalem continued to deteriorate, Turkey even hinted at military action to stop Cypriot energy-related plans. Nevertheless, Ankara ultimately failed to block plans by either Cyprus or Israel. Importantly, Greece also joined Israeli–Cypriot energy plans. Based on interviews with Greek decision makers at the highest possible levels of power, this chapter explains how by summer 2012, an “energy triangle” between Athens, Jerusalem, and Nicosia was gradually put into place. It included plans to construct an electricity cable linking all three states, as well as discussions about the building of a pipeline to export the newly found natural gas deposits to Europe via Greece.
Full-text available
Detailed multibeam, sedimentological, and geophysical surveys provide ample new data to confirm that the Anaximander Mountains (Eastern Mediterranean) are an important area for active mud volcanism and gas hydrate formation. More than 3000 km of multibeam track length was acquired during two recent missions and 80 gravity and box cores were recovered. Morphology and backscatter data of the study area have better resolution than previous surveys, and very detailed morphology maps have been made of the known targeted mud volcanoes (Amsterdam, Kazan and Kula), especially the Amsterdam “crater” and the related mud breccia flows. Gas hydrates collected repeatedly from a large area of Amsterdam mud volcano at a sub-bottom depth of around 0.3–1.5 m resemble compacted snow and have a rather flaky form. New gas hydrate sites were found at Amsterdam mud volcano, including the mud flow sloping off to the south. Gas hydrates sampled for the first time at Kazan mud volcano are dispersed throughout the core samples deeper than 0.3 m and display a ‘rice’-like appearance. Relative chronology and AMS dating of interbedded pelagic sediments (Late Holocene hemipelagic, sapropel layer S1 and ash layers) within the mud flows indicate that successive eruptions of Kula mud volcano have a periodicity of about 5–10 kyrs. New mud volcanoes identified on the basis of multibeam backscatter intensity were sampled, documented as active and named “Athina” and “Thessaloniki”. Gas hydrates were sampled also in Thessaloniki mud volcano, the shallowest (1264 m) among all the active Mediterranean sites, at the boundary of the gas hydrate stability zone. Biostratigraphical analyses of mud breccia clasts indicated that the source of the subsurface sedimentary sequences consists of Late Cretaceous limestones, Paleocene siliciclastic rocks, Eocene biogenic limestones and Miocene mudstones. Rough estimations of the total capacity of the Anaximander mud volcanoes in methane gas are 2.56–6.40 km3.
Delimitation of Land and Sea Boundaries: Geodetic and Geometric Bases This article refers to the separation of the EEZs between Qatar and S. Arabia in 1999, using Voronoi transformations A Fully Automated Sea Boundary Delineator
  • G Hangouët
  • J.-F Christensen
COSQUER, G., HANGOUËT, J.-F. (2003). Delimitation of Land and Sea Boundaries: Geodetic and Geometric Bases. FIG Working Week 2003, Paris, France, April 13-17, 2003. This article refers to the separation of the EEZs between Qatar and S. Arabia in 1999, using Voronoi transformations. See also: Christensen, A.H.J., A Fully Automated Sea Boundary Delineator, Proceedings of FIG XXII International Congress, Washington, D.C. USA, 19-26 April 2002 ", Session JS12 Marine Cadastre [ Js12/JS12_christensen.pdf].
Türkiye'nin Uluslararası Konumu
  • A Davutoğlu
  • Stratejik Derinlik
DAVUTOĞLU, A., Stratejik Derinlik. Türkiye'nin Uluslararası Konumu, Küre Yayınları, Đstanbul 2004, 18th edition, 1st edition 2001
GIS Applications In Maritime Boundary Delimitation
  • D Palmer
  • Η Pruett
HAROLD, D., PALMER, Η., PRUETT, L., (1999) GIS Applications In Maritime Boundary Delimitation [ library/userconf/proc99/proceed/papers/pap938/p938.htm].
Η Ελληνική ΑΟΖ και το Καστελόριζο. Αρχές µιας Γεωπολιτικής Ανάλυσης
  • I Mazis
  • Th
  • G.-A Sgouros
MAZIS, I. Th., & SGOUROS, G.-A., "Η Ελληνική ΑΟΖ και το Καστελόριζο. Αρχές µιας Γεωπολιτικής Ανάλυσης", Επίκαιρα (Epikera, special edition), 2011 Translated into English by Ioannis E. Saridakis.
This article refers to the separation of the EEZs between Qatar and S. Arabia in 1999, using Voronoi transformations
  • G Cosquer
  • J.-F Hangouët
  • A H J Christensen
COSQUER, G., HANGOUËT, J.-F. (2003). Delimitation of Land and Sea Boundaries: Geodetic and Geometric Bases. FIG Working Week 2003, Paris, France, April 13-17, 2003. This article refers to the separation of the EEZs between Qatar and S. Arabia in 1999, using Voronoi transformations. See also: Christensen, A.H.J., A Fully Automated Sea Boundary Delineator, Proceedings of FIG XXII International Congress, Washington, D.C. USA, 19-26 April 2002", Session JS12 Marine Cadastre [ Js12/JS12_christensen.pdf].
Το Στρατηγικό Βάθος και η ∆ιεθνής Θέση της Τουρκίας (in Greek: The turkish Strategic depth and the International position of Turkey)
  • A Davutoğlu
DAVUTOĞLU, A., Το Στρατηγικό Βάθος και η ∆ιεθνής Θέση της Τουρκίας (in Greek: The turkish Strategic depth and the International position of Turkey), Poiotita, Athens 2010