TR and GR held 60 rounds of #exploratory talks over the course of 14 years. During this time, we have only seen a growing difference in parties’ claims, instead of a sign of reconciliation. Let’s hope, this new round of talks will be different and bring the peace the region needs
If TR gives up Libya deal, we might see a compromise. If not, no one should expect something useful from this new round of talks. Those who blindly support the #TR-Libya deal should understand how arbitrarily the Libya #map was evolved by only looking at the historic developments
With a Diplomatic Note on March 2, 2004, Turkey first time declared its continental shelf areas in the west of meridian 32°16’18”E. There was no hint on the Eastern and Western terminus of the boundary by then.
In and around 2010, the 28th Meridian became the de facto outer/western boundary of the Turkish continental shelf. How, by who, not very clear. But some maps started showing up.
In some versions, we have also seen the 34th parallel being the southern boundary at some point. I have seen this map for the first time in a presentation at Ankara University law faculty. 34th Parallel did not survive long as an official map, and was abandoned quickly.
Turkey’s western boundary was introduced with a map attached to a Gov Decree dating April 27, 2012. Since then, we have seen numerous drilling licences issued between meridians 32°16’18”E and 28E. This area remained the de facto maritime area of TR and respected in state practice
Turkey finally defined its western boundary as 28th meridian with an official letter to the UN on 18 March 2019, but hinting a potential extension beyond this line.
On September 2, 2019, Erdogan posed in front of a mysterious map, extending Turkish #maritime #boundaries to the doorstep of Crete. This map was nothing, but Cihat Yayci’s thesis published in 2010, showing the 25th Meridian as the western terminus of #Turkish CS.
On November 27, 2019, TR-Libya MoU was signed, making the 25th Meridian Turkey's officially declared western maritime boundary.
Soon enough and on February 2020, a modification was made to this map, and Turkish official resources published a final map with the western boundary being on Meridian 26°20’E. The famous TR-Libya maritime boundary finally revealed.
Masterminds of Libya Agreement, Yayci and Gurdeniz believe that #TR-Libya agreement is the first step of Turkey’s new #BlueHomeland doctrine, and further steps should be taken to perfect BH concept by signing maritime agreements with Israel and Lebanon on the Eastern side as well
Turkey’s changing position on #EastMed also shifted public opinion swiftly. Before #BlueHomeland, we only saw Prof Baseren’s map in the media (attached). With the changing dynamic in Government's policies, Prof Baseren, and many other academics quickly repositioned themselves
At the #EastMed Workshop presentation organized by the Government, Prof Baseren criticized my map (attached), while applauding the new TR-Libya deal. A side note, Prof Baseren is an esteemed scholar, and was in my dissertation jury, encouraged me to publish my book personally
Now, TR-Libya boundary is considered the heart of Blue Homeland doctrine. Ironically, Cem Gurdeniz, the inventor of the novel Blue Homeland concept, himself shared a map in 2018 rejecting the TR-Libya boundary, his map does not extend to Libya at all.
In 2019, Gurdeniz started including the Libya-TR boundary in his Blue Homeland maps in his presentations. Look at the most Southwestern point in both maps. How fragile these ideas, and can shift momentarily?
Ambassador Erciyes’ presentations give good idea how fast things develop during one’s tenure. While 28th Merd was the terminus of TR’s boundaries in 2012 presentation, he used a dotted line in 2019 presentation for the areas beyond 28th, signaling an expansion. In 2020: TR-Libya
I am not putting these statements to criticize Turkish Government, or these maritime experts. But to warn public for an upcoming shift in Turkey EastMed policy. TR does not have a maritime boundary with Libya. Simple as it is. You will hear this from Turkish side sooner or later
Yayci and Gurdeniz call traitor “vatan haini” anyone criticizing the TR-Libya agreement. Hey there, the inventor of Blue Homeland, Gurdeniz himself denied Libya boundary until yesterday, let alone Government official stance was also the same. Dont label, let people discuss freely
Not sure who invented 28th meridian, but it has been a natural boundary on state practice level between TR, GR and Egypt. Even after the Libya deal, Turkey’s new drilling licences are issued in the East of 28th Meridian. GR-Egypt boundary agreement does not extend beyond 28th.
We all know how Government policies radically change domestically. TR-Libya deal is not an exemption to this changing and seasonal rhetoric. If we hear a resolution of East Med Dispute, it won't be surprising if we see somewhere near 28th, Turkey's long standing position.

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More from @yeacikgonul

10 Aug 20
1. Doğu Akdeniz ihtilafına ilişkin yetkili yetkisiz bir çok kişi yorumda bulunuyor. Mavi vatan sevdalıları da aksi görüş sunanları hemen hain ilan ediyor. Halbuki mesele çok büyük oranda teknik boyutlar içeriyor.
2. Akademik kariyerimi deniz alanlarının sınırlandırmasına adadım, şayet hayatta birşeyi iyi biliyorsam, o da bu alandır. Bir kitap, hakemli dergilerde makaleler, Foreign Policy’ye röportajım, yabancı üniversitede ders verdim, bu alanda iki mastırım ve devam eden doktoram var.
3. Ben de bir maceraya atılıp, uluslararsı hukuka uygun Doğu Akdeniz sınırlandırması haritasını çizdim. Teorik bilgi ortaya koymakla, harita çizmeye girişmek arasında çok fark vardır, ikincsi detay çalışma, hukuk ve harita uzmanlığı ister. Mahkemeler nihai haritaya 3 yılda ulaşır
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10 Aug 20
1. I posted a chain of tweets yesterday about Eastern Mediterranean maritime delimitation. Many positive feedbacks suggested me to connect these tweets. It will be a repeat, but I will be posting the thread once again in order.
2. I see many people commenting on the maritime dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean. I wanted to take an adventurous step and draw my own map. Just to clarify, drawing a map is a dangerous move, takes a lot of considerations (courts generally take 3 years to reach a map :)
3- I have devoted my academic career on maritime delimitation. If I know one thing good in life, that is this field. I know the details of all given judgments by heart, have 2 LLM degrees, a PHD candidate, written book and many articles on peer-reviewed journals and given courses
Read 27 tweets

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