YPRUS has protested to the UN the harassment by Turkey of a Cyprus-flagged research vessel last December.
The protest comes after a violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.
In a letter to the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, dated February 29, 2016, Nicos Emiliou, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, notes that on December 17, 2015, a navy vessel of the Republic of Turkey approached and harassed MV Flying Enterprise, which was duly licensed to conduct a geophysical survey in the south of Cyprus, while a relevant navigational warning was issued for this purpose.
"Upon instructions from my government, I have the honour to draw your attention, in your capacity as depositary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to yet another provocative and illegal act by the Republic of Turkey in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus" says Emiliou in his letter to Ban.
He adds that according to the investigation that followed the incident, the Turkish warship "TCG Gediz" had instructed the research vessel to stop all survey operations and change course and speed by reason of entering a "Turkish maritime restricted area”.
The research vessel responded by saying that it was located within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, and was carrying out a survey for the purpose of cable laying, having obtained authorization from the competent Cypriot authorities.
"The Republic of Turkey, being the State responsible for the official acts of its navy, abused the freedom of navigation that its war vessels enjoy in order to harass the MV Flying Enterprise" notes Emiliou.
He adds that Turkey’s acts clearly constitute "a violation of international law and an infringement of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus in its EEZ and over its continental shelf".
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus calls once again on the Government of the Republic of Turkey to respect the principles of international law on the peaceful use of the seas, the letter concludes.