Are East Mediterranean waters heating up? - YASIN AKTAY

Are East Mediterranean waters heating up?

It is no secret that the so-called maritime agreement between Egypt and Greece is taking aim at Turkey and attempting to drown it in the waters of the Mediterranean, as it tries to disrupt the maritime border demarcation agreement Ankara signed with Tripoli. Turkey has only resorted to this agreement after, as explained by President Erdoğan, certain greedy parties in the Mediterranean waters showed they do not want fair participation, and who do not even allow a fishing rod to be cast on its shores."

Egypt along with Greece, and Cyprus together with Israel, splitting the maritime jurisdiction areas in the eastern Mediterranean, claim the longest shore of the Mediterranean to themselves without leaving much to Turkey, which has rights in these waters. Also, the Greek side that signed this agreement has proclaimed itself the sole representative of the island of Cyprus, with complete disregard for Turkish Cypriots.

The step taken by Turkey in terms of signing an agreement to demarcate the maritime borders with Libya is important in terms of Turkey's defense of its water rights, which certain parties want to unjustly claim as their own. The description of this step as aggressive stems from ignoring the hostile and unfair sharing that other parties had adopted among themselves. These same parties are trying to speak on behalf of NATO and the European Union (EU) in order to criticize Turkey and describe its move as hostile.

And when we see those parties speaking on behalf of NATO and the EU, we must ask about the functions of these two institutions. Turkey began excavation work only after the signing of this agreement, and after that, German Chancellor Merkel, during a phone call with President Erdoğan, asked for temporary halt to the exploration work, hoping that it would convince the Greek side in order to find a solution to this issue, in which the Turkish president reiterated his belief that the Greek side will not abide by this or keep its word, and thus the recent agreement between Greece and Egypt came to validate this belief.

The maritime border demarcation agreement and the delineation of jurisdiction areas between Turkey and Libya is nothing but a matter of Turkey defending its rights and speaking up before any attempts to violate those rights. Turkey is thus seeking to restore its water rights that have been violated unjustly. However, we can see that the agreement between Egypt and Greece’s only aim is more hostility and greed. But let's look at the position of each NATO country with regards to this lastest step.

Perhaps this hostile agreement against Turkey means nothing for NATO, which may not be concerned with issues such as human rights and democracy, but surely it must constitute an existential problem in the eyes of the European Union, particularly when looking at the two countries between which this agreement was signed: Greece and Egypt, when it comes to Greece, it is one of the countries that plots and backs coup attempts in Turkey, which in fact represents democracy and human rights in the Islamic world. As for Egypt, it is a country that is controlled through a coup by a putschist with blood on his hands, he is a someone who committed crimes against humanity through his coup, thousands of Egyptians were killed, and to this date, there are nearly 100,000 political prisoners who are suffering from torture and human rights abuses, the likes of which were not seen since the Middle Ages, and everyone can consult Amnesty International's reports on the subject.

Aside from all of the above, take for example the Saudi Foreign Minister's recent visit to Greek Cyprus, and his expression of Saudi concern about Turkish activities in the eastern Mediterranean. Thus, Saudi Arabia has announced its already known position with regards to the conflict in the Mediterranean, and simultaneously has affirmed that as a country that has committed the most heinous murder and brutal assassination in this century, it aligns itself with falsehoods and is opposed to everything that has to do with democracy and human rights.

But did it cross anyone’s mind why Saudi Arabia is so keen on revealing its positions, knowing that it does not have any borders in the waters of the Mediterranean, and therefore it is not a party to the conflict, so why did it want to be a party now?

Personally, I think Europe should answer this question, not us. When it comes to these issues, the parties are in a hurry to determine their position and stances on these conflicts, and therefore we wonder; shouldn’t the EU choose democracy, human rights and good regimes in the Arab world, or back dictatorships, anti-democratic forces and human rights violations?

Should piracy be a principle and policy for NATO members? We do not ask European countries to impose sanctions on France, which has been implicated in supporting a war criminal such as Haftar, but at least shouldn’t Europe hold France accountable for just this latest violation? But France clearly wants to revive its filthy, barbaric colonial past, and it has already started to do so. Wouldn't there be a deterrent reaction by EU countries towards this dirty colonial policy?

These are questions for the European Union. Otherwise, Turkey must demonstrate its ability to protect and defend its rights.

And if Turkey says that the agreement between Egypt and Greece is null and void, then it is null and void.


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