Friday, 20 April 2018
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Maritime boundaries

Maritime boundaries between Greece and Turkey are clearly delimited.

More specifically:

- the maritime region of the Evros estuary is delimited on the basis of the Athens Protocol of 26 November 1926.

- in the adjoining maritime region extending south from Evros to Samos and Ikaria, in the absence of relevant agreements with Turkey, the principle of equidistance/median applies, in accordance with customary international law. According to Article 15 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which reflects customary international law, in the absence of a delimitation agreement, no state has the right to extend its territorial waters beyond the median line. This particular provision, which repeats, with minor drafting changes, Article 12(1) of the Geneva Convention on Territorial Waters and the Contiguous Zone, codifies customary law.

- south of Samos, between the Dodecanese and the Turkish coast, the maritime boundaries are delimited based on the Agreement of  4 January 1932 and the Protocol of 28 December 1932, between Italy and Turkey. Greece was the successor state in the relevant provisions of these agreements, on the basis of Article 14(1) of the Paris Peace Treaty of 10 February 1947, which ceded sovereignty of the Dodecanese from Italy to Greece.

- any contentions on the part of Turkey regarding the abovementioned existing status are unfounded and contravene international law. The delimitation agreements are in full force and are binding for Turkey, whereas in regions where there is no agreement on the maritime boundary, the principle of equidistance/median line is implemented based on customary law, which is valid erga omnes.

As regards the outer limit of the continental shelf, see Greek-Turkish dispute over the delimitation of the continental shelf.

Last Updated Monday, 12 December 2016