February 22, 2013 - 14:47 AMT
Greece issues verbal note to Turkey over continental shelf

Greece has issued a verbal note to the United Nations over Turkey’s decision to grant hydrocarbon exploration permits for parts of the Mediterranean that the Greek government considers part of its continental shelf, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“This action safeguards Greece’s stance in defense of our country’s sovereign rights, in accordance with the customary and conventional Law of the Sea, and specifically the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982),” said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Feb 21.

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitro Avramopoulos said that the areas Turkey had granted exploration permits for in the Mediterranean were deemed to fall within the Greek continental shelf. The ministry said that “directly upon learning of Turkey’s granting of permits, the Greek government proceeded to the appropriate demarches to Turkey.”

Turkey carried out a seismic search for energy sources in the Mediterranean in response to a similar Greek Cypriot search, the HDN says.

“Greece wants to have good neighborly relations with Turkey, as well as with all the countries in its region, based on mutual respect and international legality, particularly regarding matters that concern our sovereign rights and the exploitation of our natural wealth,” the Greek Foreign Ministry statement said.