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Potential Game Changer Memorandums Signed Between Libya and Turkey - Aria İdil Kadirli

Last week, two memorandum of understanding was signed between Turkey and Libya on maritime boundaries and military cooperation. These memorandums carry particular importance for Turkey on preserving its strategic rights in the region. One of the memorandums defines the Exclusive Economic Zone of Turkey with its maritime neighbor Libya. A most important benefit that Turkey will get from the agreement is that a shield will be formed for Turkey in the sea from Greece, Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, and Egypt. Hence, it can be argued that some equations might potentially change in the region.

As already known, in the region, there is an alliance between Greece, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Italy. Additionally, the project named East Med is signed in which Turkey is not included. Thus, it is clear that these countries make policies that aim to keep Turkey out of the region. The biggest problem in the area derives from the unilateral decisions that the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus takes, such as announcing Exclusive Economic Zone.

Unsurprisingly, after the memorandums were signed between Libya and Turkey last week, both Egypt and Greece objected to it. As a response to Greece and Egypt, the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hami Aksoy stated that: "Through this agreement with Libya, the two countries have manifested their intention not to allow any fait-accompli (in the eastern Mediterranean)." The terms of the memorandums are yet to be known. Greece summoned the Libyan ambassador to uncover the contents of the memorandum between Turkey-Libya concerning territorial waters. If it does not happen, in the diplomatic resources, it is stated that it will start expulsion procedures. It proves the importance that the memorandums carry concerning the geopolitics of the region.

Turkey already protects its rights by having seismic research ships and drilling ships in the region. Also, with these two memorandums that are signed currently, the preservation of the rights of Turkey will be consolidated as the deal will determine the limits of the maritime jurisdiction of Turkey within the framework of international law. The Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey has the right to negotiate with every country in the region about jurisdiction areas under its rights deriving from international law. It is also important to mention that Turkey mentioned its support for a political solution for building a democratic, stable, and wealthy Libya.


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