NATO and the Aegean disputes

The issue of territorial waters emerged as a matter of dispute after the Geneva Convention of 1958. The Convention was based on the UN Law of Sea conference of 1958, which provided that all states have the right to extend their territorial waters to 12 nautical miles (nm). Greece ratified the convention in 1972, whereas Turkey was not a signatory and, ever since, the Aegean Sea consists of three sections, with Greece having 35 per cent of the waters, Turkey nine per cent, while the remaining 56 per cent are international waters. Were Greece and Turkey to exercise their vested rights, then the Greek waters would rise to a 64 per cent share, Turkey’s to ten per cent and international waters would decrease to 26 per cent.


Christos Kassimeris is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at European University Cyprus

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