Cyprus: Legal Aspects Of Conflicting Views On Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone

Last Updated: 4 June 2015
Article by Anastasios Antoniou and Aquilina Demetriadi

The Offshore Licensing Rounds for Hydrocarbons Exploration and Exploitation in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone

The Republic of Cyprus ("Cyprus") held the 1st Licensing Round Offshore Cyprus for the award of hydrocarbon exploration licenses and subsequent hydrocarbon exploitation licenses in eleven (11) Exploration Blocks within the Exclusive Economic Zone ("EEZ") of Cyprus, which licensing round had been announced on 15 February 2007. A relevant Notice was published in the Official Journal of the European Union to the above effect by the Government of Cyprus.1

The 1st Licensing Round had been based on the MC2D-CYP2006 seismic data that were acquired in 2006. Following extensive negotiations, the Government of Cyprus awarded an exploration license for the area in the EEZ identified as block 12 ("Block 12") was granted to Noble Energy International Ltd ("Noble") on 24 October 2008. In October 2013, Noble carried out appraisal drillings in Block 12. The results have confirmed natural gas reserves of 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with a gross mean of 5 tcf.

The 2nd Offshore Licensing Round was a tendering process that took place and concluded within 2012, initiated through a Notice from the Government of the Republic was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 11 February 2012,2 inviting offers for the awarding of exploration and exploitation licences within the Cypriot. The 2nd Offshore Licensing Round resulting in awarding more hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation licences to bidding parties.3

The United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea ("UNCLOS") to which Cyprus is a State Party, the relevant national legislation of 1988 ratifying same, the Declaration of the Exclusive Economic Zone Law 64(I) of 2004 and the Contiguous Zone Law 63(I) of 2004 constitute the relevant applicable legislative instruments that govern Cyprus' EEZ and the exercise of its sovereignty within same.

The Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus has been agreed and signed with Egypt, based on the median-line principle and in accordance with the provisions of UNCLOS. Likewise, respective delimitation agreements have been signed with Lebanon and Israel. These bilateral treaties between Cyprus and Egypt (2003), Cyprus and Lebanon (2007 – not yet ratified) and Cyprus and Israel (2010) have delimited the EEZ of Cyprus, which has been divided into 13 Exploration Blocks covering approximately 51,000 km2.

The Hydrocarbons (Prospecting, Exploration and Exploitation) Law 4(I) of 2007 and Regulations of 2007 and 2009 issued pursuant to s. 30 of the said Law comprise the legislation governing the operations under discussion and the relevant licensing over same. Reference should also be made to the issuing of the Model Exploration and Production Sharing Contract, published pursuant to regulation 5 of the aforementioned 2007 Regulations, which constitutes soft-law and its model terms and conditions are "used in the licensing process in accordance to the provisions of the [2007] Regulations".4

The prospecting, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and the enforcement of the Hydrocarbons Law regulating these operations emanate from and rest upon the exercise of Cyprus' sovereign rights within its EEZ, as such is delimited by virtue of the above mentioned instruments. As such, the aforesaid operations may be affected by UNCLOS and the domestic legislation regulating the relevant public international law aspects under particular circumstances.

Steps taken by Turkey

Turkey submitted a note verbale on 10 April 2014 to the Secretary General of the United Nations setting out the geographical coordinates of its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, as established by a delimitation agreement concluded between Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("'TRNC'") on 21 September 2011 ("the 'TRNC' Agreement").

Cyprus had objected to the aforementioned note verbale and both Turkey and Cyprus have made relevant representations to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Turkey is essentially claiming that the maritime areas that are west of longitude 32°16′18″E fall allegedly within its continental shelf. Cyprus, on the other hand, holds the position that Turkey's claim over the said areas disregards completely the EEZ and the continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Illustratively, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations had stressed in his letter to the Secretary-General dated 19 May 2014 that:

"The rights to such maritime zones, including the sovereign rights and jurisdiction attached thereto, emanate from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which enjoys near-universal participation and reflects the relevant customary international law. Turkey's claim over the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus west of longitude 32°16′18″E has no basis whatsoever in the Convention or customary international law."

The 'TRNC' Agreement, over which the aforementioned note verbale had been transmitted, was ratified by Turkey on 29 June 2012. By transmitting this document to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Turkey had sought to achieve the publication of the agreed coordinates in the Law of the Sea Bulletin, in which official submissions by states regarding the Law of the Sea are published. In that respect, it is worthy to note that, although Turkey has not acceded to UNCLOS, in the given case it had nevertheless acted in accordance with Article 84(2) of UNCLOS. The discussed submission of Turkey was not officially listed on the deposit of the website of the Department of Oceans and the Law of the Sea ("DOALOS") of the United Nations.

More recently, on 3 October 2014, a NAVTEX was issued by Turkey, informing mariners that a State-controlled survey vessel, the 'Hayreddin Barbaros Pasa' ("Barbaros"), would perform seismic surveys off the southern coast of Cyprus from October 20 to December 30, 2014. Indeed, Barbaros appears to have carried out seismic surveys within the continental shelf and the EEZ of Cyprus, accompanied by a frigate of the Turkish Naval Forces, an activity which has now seized in light of the re-commencement of bicommunal talks to reach a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Problem under the auspices of the UN.

Lastly, within the context of the wider geopolitical developments and facts that inevitably interact with the legal issues this note is concerned with, we must take into account the position of the European Union ("EU") on the discussed matter, as expressed by the European Council. Under Article 15 TEU, the European Council, which is the EU institution comprised of the Heads of States and Governments of the EU Member States, provides the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and defines the general political directions and priorities thereof. As such, although it does not exercise legislative functions, the European Council shapes the policy of the EU in its areas of competence under the Treaties.

The European Council, has made particular reference to the sailing of Barbaros in Cyprus' EEZ. Paragraph 24 of the Conclusions of the European Council held on 23 and 24 of October 2014 reads as follows:

"The European Council expressed serious concern about the renewed tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and urged Turkey to show restraint and to respect Cyprus' sovereignty over its territorial sea and Cyprus' sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone. The European Council recalled the Declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005, including that the recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process. Under the current circumstances, the European Council considered it more important than ever to ensure a positive climate so that negotiations for a comprehensive Cyprus' settlement can resume."

The Status Quo in Cyprus

The Turkish military invasion that took place in two phases over the summer of 1974 has left the island divided on a de facto basis. However, the international legal aspects of the current status quo have crystallised to a great extent. These legal aspects, widely arising as a result of continuing occupation5 of approximately 36% of the territory of Cyprus by Turkey – a fundamental element of the wider conflict that the discipline of international relations refers to as 'the Cyprus Question' - should be briefly examined within the context of this note. Towards such purpose, it is most useful to note the legal position of international and transnational organisations, namely the United Nations, the EU and the Council of Europe, as well as international courts and tribunals.

The Security Council of the United Nations ("UN") had immediately after the manifestation of Turkey's 1974 military operations supported the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus6 and disapproving of the unilateral military actions undertaken against it,7 a position that remains unaltered since. In UN Security Council Resolution 367, adopted on 12 March 1975, the Security Council once again called upon all States to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and regretted the unilateral declaration of a 'Federated Turkish State' over part of the Republic of Cyprus.

The occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey and its consequences have become a significant part of the wider political problem and it is an aspect taken into account in every UN-led effort aiming at a comprehensive political settlement of the Cyprus Question. The term 'occupation' was employed in UN General Assembly Resolutions 33/15(1978) and 34/30(1979). In the subsequent UN General Assembly Resolution 37/253(1983) the latter demanded for "the immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces from the Republic of Cyprus".8

Following the Helsinki European Council of 1999, the conclusions of which stipulated that if no settlement of the Cyprus Question had been reached by the completion of accession negotiations of Cyprus, the Council's decision on accession would be made without the above being a precondition,9 the EU has incorporated into its legal order a very clear legal arrangement for Cyprus. Protocol 10 of the Treaty of Accession10 of 2003 provides that:

"application of the acquis shall be suspended in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control".11

EU law is thus suspended in the territory of Cyprus outside the effective control of its Government, until a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Question is reached, upon which the Council will adapt "to the terms concerning the accession of Cyprus to the European Union with regard to the Turkish Cypriot Community".12

In its Judgment in Orams v. Apostolides,13 the European Court of Justice has shed further light on the suspension of the acquis in the discussed areas of Cyprus:

"The suspension of the application of the acquis communautaire in those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of that Member State does not exercise effective control, provided for by Article 1(1) of Protocol No 10 on Cyprus to the Act concerning the conditions of accession [to the European Union] of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, does not preclude the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to a judgment which is given by a Cypriot court sitting in the area of the island effectively controlled by the Cypriot Government, but concerns land situated in areas not so controlled."14

It should be noted that Turkey entered EU accession negotiations on October 3, 2005, following its application for full EEC Membership in April 1987 and an Association Agreement between Turkey and the EU signed in September 1963.

Within the domain of the Council of Europe ("CoE") and particularly the legal order of the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR"), Cyprus has successfully pursued inter-State proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights (having jurisdiction over ECHR). Individual Greek Cypriots have also launched successful applications against Turkey.

Cyprus' first and second applications to what was at the time the European Commission on Human Rights were heard jointly and the latter expressed in its report over these applications that Turkey was in violation of Articles 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 14 of the ECHR and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the same.15 In relation to the third application of Cyprus against Turkey, the Commission expressed the opinion that Turkey was in breach of its obligations under Articles 5 and 8 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol 1.16

The European Court of Human Rights held on May 10, 2001, that Turkey maintained effective control of the northern part of Cyprus, over which it was responsible for securing the respect of human rights and was subject to any violation of these rights.17 The Court went on to find several ECHR-protected rights as having been infringed.18

Applications by natural persons against Turkey have also been ruled upon by the Court and shed further judicial light on the status quo in Cyprus. The landmark case is Loizidou v. Turkey.19 In that case, the Court found that the denial of access to the applicant's property – of which she remains the legal owner20 - and consequent loss of control thereof is imputable to Turkey.21 More recently, the Court has ruled in Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey22 for the applicant that there had been a violation of Article 8 and of Article 1 Protocol 1 on behalf of Turkey.

As far as the 'TRNC' is concerned, namely the regime established in the aftermath of the Turkish military invasion of 1974, this emerged on the basis of a declaration made on November 15, 1983.

The UN Security Council issued Resolution 541(1983) three days following the said declaration, in which it deplored the declaration of purported secession of part of the Republic of Cyprus.23 The said Resolution held the declaration as being "legally invalid" and called for its withdrawal24 while it further read that the SC 'calls upon all States not to recognise any State in Cyprus other than the Republic of Cyprus'.25 Resolution 550(1983) confirmed the aforesaid Resolution 541 with the addition of holding the exchange of ambassadors between the 'TRNC' and Turkey as also being invalid.26

What was then the European Community and today the EU, comprising at that time of ten Member States, issued a statement on November 16, 1983, by which it rejected the declaration and expressed its support to the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, considering its government as being the sole legitimate one of the Republic of Cyprus.27 The same language was employed by the Committee of Ministers of the CoE in its relevant resolution.28 Furthermore, the Commonwealth, through its Heads of Government, issued a statement stating, inter alia, that they condemned the declaration of a secessionist state, they denounced it as legally invalid and called for all States not to recognise or assist in any way the secessionist entity.29

In its plethora of judgments on the issues relating to Cyprus, the European Court of Human Rights has held, inter alia, that "the Republic of Cyprus has remained the sole legitimate government of Cyprus".30 Furthermore, the same Court has resolved that the 'TRNC' is a "puppet state" under the "effective control" of Turkey.31

The Dispute over Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone

According to customary international law and UNCLOS (which enjoys almost universal participation), a coastal state maintains an inherent right to a continental shelf, which extends up to a distance of 200 nautical miles ("nm") measured from the coast. In addition, a littoral state is also entitled to claim an EEZ of a breadth of 200nm. In these zones, the coastal state enjoys exclusive sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting the natural resources, either living or non-living, in its seabed and subsoil (Articles 58(1)(a), 77(1)(2) and 81 UNCLOS). Consequently, no other state can set forth assertions over the natural resources in another state's maritime zones. Nevertheless, in both the continental shelf and the EEZ the freedom of navigation shall not be hindered (Articles 58(1) and 78 UNCLOS) as those waters, in essence, form part of the high seas.

Turkey is not a signatory to UNCLOS and moreover maintains a position under which islands facing longer coastal fronts should have diminished rights in terms of generating maritime zones. As such, Turkey does not recognise the rights of Cyprus to a continental shelf nor its capacity to claim an EEZ around the island and consequently dismisses the EEZ delimitation agreements concluded between Cyprus and third States, as these have been described supra.

Furthermore, Turkey alleges that the breakaway regime of the 'TRNC' is eligible to have claims over the island's underwater natural resources, hence the conclusion of the 'TRNC' Agreement discussed hereabove. Turkey and the 'TRNC' have granted oil concessions to TPAO as regards the entire maritime space around Cyprus, in contravention to Cyprus' position, which is grounded on the UNCLOS and customary international law and despite the fact that the Turkish coasts do not project in some of the claimed sea areas. Moreover, Turkey concluded a continental shelf delimitation agreement with the secessionist entity in northern Cyprus and conducted seismic surveys in the western sector of the Republic of Cyprus' EEZ purporting to create "grey zones" around the island.

The 'TRNC' Agreement outlines some of Turkey's longstanding positions on the Law of the Sea. It deals only with the continental shelf and does not provide for the delineation of an exclusive economic zone. While there is nothing precluding coastal states from choosing which maritime zones to claim or and delimitate, Turkey opting not to delimit an EEZ with the 'TRNC' alludes to the Turkish position that islands in certain regions should not be entitled to claim maritime zones of their own, other than territorial sea, or should have reduced capacity to generate such zones. This stance was formulated in the context of the dispute between Turkey and Greece concerning sovereignty over the maritime space of the Aegean Sea; since the 1970s, Turkey has sustained that the Aegean islands are situated on the continental shelf of Anatolia and, consequently, do not have a continental shelf of their own.

Turkey's opposition to UNCLOS provisions governing the regime of islands had been one of the reasons it voted against and has not yet acceded to UNCLOS. For the sake of clarity, it should be pointed out that when it comes to maritime delimitation, the maritime space an island can claim may be diminished depending on the circumstances (cf., inter alia, Anglo-French Arbitration 1977, Tunisia v Libya 1982, Black Sea Case 2009, Bangladesh/Myanmar 2012). Therefore, although in principle islands are not deprived of the rights bestowed on them by Article 121 UNCLOS, such rights may not always be granted full effect in maritime boundary delimitations. However, islands cannot be denied their capacity to generate maritime zones and/or to be given decreased effect a priori; each case should be scrutinized according to its own unique circumstances.

In any event, the Turkish argument that the Greek islands in the Aegean are located on the continental shelf of Turkey has been severely emaciated by the introduction of the EEZ concept and the prevalence of the 'distance criterion' of maritime delimitation over the 'geological criterion'. The distance criterion provides that the breadth of the maritime space afforded to a state should be calculated according to a fixed distance measured from the coast. The geological criterion, by contrast, would permit a state to claim the sea waters lying over the natural prolongation of its territory, irrespective of the distance from its coastline.

According to its well-established position that islands should not have the capacity to claim extended maritime zones when facing a bigger coastline, Turkey holds the view that Cyprus, being an island, has diminished capacity in terms of maritime delimitation compared to the longer Turkish coastline, which is opposite the northern coast of Cyprus. Hence, as the 'TRNC' Agreement provides, the continental shelf delineation was carried out in accordance with equitable principles, resulting in a delimitation line closer to Cyprus at some points, which gives Turkey a more extensive maritime space than that which is allocated to the 'TRNC'.

Turkey had been a fervent advocate of the equitable principles/relevant circumstances method during UNCLOS III, vehemently rejecting the median line/special circumstances method (UNCLOS III, Negotiating Group 7). The 'equitable principles' method, which was elaborated in the 1969 Continental Shelf cases, stipulates that all relevant factors should be considered in order to reach an equitable result. However, the Court in the Continental Shelf cases gave no further guidance as to how such an equitable result would be reached, rendering this method equivocal.

Although the debate over these two delimitation methods had been intense, UNCLOS did not manage to elucidate the vagueness surrounding the law of maritime delimitation. Articles 74 and 83 UNCLOS strike a balance between the two opposing sides' assertions. Nevertheless, there has been a growing trend towards assimilation of the two methods, early signs of which are discernible in several cases before international tribunals.32 At the moment, the view supporting the integration of the two methods seems to prevail.33

Article 121 UNCLOS reflects customary law (as per the ICJ in Nicaragua v Colombia (2012), para 139) and, accordingly, applies to non-states parties as well, such as Turkey.

In the aforementioned Nicaragua v Colombia judgment of 2012, the ICJ put an end to the argument that one state's islands cannot have their own continental shelf because they are located on another state's continental shelf (para 214):

"The Court does not believe that any weight should be given to Nicaragua's contention that the Colombian islands are located on "Nicaragua's continental shelf". It has repeatedly made clear that geological and geomorphological considerations are not relevant to the delimitation of overlapping entitlements within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of States."

Under any circumstances, the continental shelf delimitation agreement between Turkey and the breakaway 'TRNC' is not valid under international law, as the latter party is not a legitimate state entity and enjoys no legitimate legal personality as a Subject of International Law. Moreover, it also becomes clear, on the basis of the aforesaid analysis, that the 'TRNC' can have no valid claim over any part of Cyprus' EEZ, the former being an illegally declared entity, the declaration of which is, at International Law, invalid.

The Republic of Cyprus being the sole Subject of International Law on the island of Cyprus and its government being the only legitimate government thereupon, raises the question of the degree of jurisdiction a State exercises over its EEZ. This has been addressed by the CJEU, in its Judgment of 17 January 2012 in Case C-347/10 Salemink v Raad van bestuur van het Uitvoeringsinstituut werknemersverzekeringen.

The Cyprus Law Parameters

As mentioned supra, the Hydrocarbons Law and the Regulations of 2007 and 2009 issued pursuant to s. 30 of the Hydrocarbons Law comprise the legislation governing the operations under discussion and the relevant licensing over same.

The prospecting, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and the enforcement of the Hydrocarbons Law regulating these operations emanate from and rest upon the exercise of Cyprus' sovereign rights within its EEZ, as such is delimited by virtue of the above mentioned instruments. As such, the aforesaid operations may be affected by UNCLOS and the domestic legislation regulating the relevant public international law aspects under particular circumstances.

Rights of participants for hydrocarbon exploration and/or exploitation are granted upon authorisation pursuant to the provisions of the Law. The State grants participants with mineral rights for the development of oil and natural gas reserves via different types of licences available. Furthermore, contractual rights – as these are reflected in the Model Production Sharing Contract (MPSC) – provide the private contracting party with the right to free access and operation within the contracted area.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Regulations, three types of licences are prescribed:

  • the prospecting licence which is valid for up to a year and allows the holders of this licence to conduct 2D or 3D seismic surveys and gravity and magnetic surveys;
  • the exploration licence which is valid for three years and offers the prospect of additional two renewals of the licence. Simultaneously the exploration licence offers the licensee the right to carry out the same surveys as allowed under the prospecting licence and additional exploratory drilling, whereas upon each renewal, 25% of the initial area is relinquished, and 100% of the initial area is relinquished upon expiration of the licence; and
  • the exploitation licence which is granted primarily for 25 years which can be later renewed for up to 10 years upon the fulfilment of the licensee's obligations.

Pursuant to the provisions of s. 3(1) of the Hydrocarbons Law, which are in conformity with Public International Law, ownership of hydrocarbons, as part of the State's natural resources, vests with the State at all times. Furthermore, the rights over resources situated offshore Cyprus are to be exercised in conjunction with the continental shelf rights under UNCLOS.

Lastly, it is imperative that we note the provisions of s. 22 of the Hydrocarbons Law, which reads:

"Any person conducting prospecting, exploration or exploitation of hydrocarbons without possessing a licence or in breach of his licence shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding one million Cyprus pounds or to both such imprisonment and fine. In case of a second or subsequent conviction, he is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or to a fine not exceeding five million Cyprus pounds or to both such imprisonment and fine."


Without replacing or consolidating the above analysis and or any legal assessment on particular circumstances, the following bullet points can be used to summarize the contents of the above note:

  • Cyprus is a State party to UNCLOS;
  • Turkey is not a State party to UNCLOS;
  • Turkey disputes the EEZ delimitation agreement between Cyprus and Egypt, on the basis of its own claims to the part of the continental shelf in that area;
  • Turkey's claims are partially overlapping with Cyprus' EEZ and specifically blocks 1, 4, 6, and 7;
  • The 'TRNC' alleges claims over Block 12 (as well as over blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 13 within Cyprus' EEZ);
  • The Republic of Cyprus is the only existing Subject of International Law on the island of Cyprus and its government is the sole legitimate government on the island;
  • The act of declaring the 'TRNC' is 'legally invalid' at International Law and the only legitimate State on the island of Cyprus is the Republic of Cyprus;
  • The Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control over the area of the island that is not occupied by Turkey;
  • Article 121 UNCLOS, recognizes the rights of islands to generate maritime zones;
  • Article 121 UNCLOS reflects customary law and, accordingly, applies to non-states parties as well, such as Turkey;
  • Cyprus has declared its Exclusive Economic Zone and has delimited same by virtue of concluding bilateral delimitation agreements with neighboring States, all steps taken in accordance to UNCLOS provisions;
  • Ownership of hydrocarbons and any natural resources in Cyprus' EEZ rests with Cyprus and the rights over resources situated offshore Cyprus are to be exercised in conjunction with the continental shelf rights under UNCLOS;
  • Cyprus has the exclusive right to construct any artificial islands, installations and structures on its continental shelf, to authorise them and to regulate their construction, operation and use, pursuant to Article 80 UNCLOS (in conjunction with Article 60 thereof)

Any unauthorised conduct of exploration operations, whether through the use of installations and structures (which use is by itself reserved as an exclusive right of Cyprus) or otherwise, within the Cypriot EEZ, could be in breach of both International Law and Cyprus Law.


[1] Notice from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus concerning Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions for granting and using authorisations for the prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons OJ C 100/10, 4 May 2007.

[2] Notice from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus concerning Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions for granting and using authorisations for the prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons OJ C 38/24, 11 February 2012.

[3]$file/Description_Of_Blocks.pdf accessed on 20/12/2014.

[4] Regulation 5(2) of the 2007 Regulations issued pursuant to s. 30 of the Hydrocarbons (Prospecting, Exploration and Exploitation) Law 4(I) of 2007.

[5] The term 'occupation' is used in this note with reference to the areas under Turkey's effective control, as held by the European Court of Human Rights in Cyprus v. Turkey (Application No.25781/94) (2002) 35 EHRR 731 84 and such term is drawn from its use in the UN's GA Res.37/253, 8.

[6] SC Res. 353(1974).

[7] See, in particular, SC Res. 360(1974).

[8] GA Res. 37/253 (1983), 8.

[9] Presidency Conclusions, Helsinki European Council (10-11.12.1999), 8(b).

[10] Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the European Union, OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, p. 17–32.

[11] Ibid., Protocol 10, Art. 1.

[12] Ibid., Art. 4.

[13] Judgment of the European Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 28 April 2009, Meletis Apostolides v David Charles Orams and Linda Elizabeth Orams, ECLI:EU:C:2009:271

[14] Ibid, para.

[15] 1974-1976 Report of the Commission, as declassified by the Council of Ministers of the CoE in January 1979, as 2 Eur.Comm.H.R. Dec&Rep 125 (1975).

[16] 1976-1983 Report of the Commission as published on April 2, 1992, by decision Res. DH(92) 12 of the Council of Ministers of the CoE as 13 Eur.Comm.H.R. Dec&Re 85 (1979).

[17] Cyprus v Turkey, Application no. 25781/94 (10 May 2001), para 80.

[18] Cyprus v Turkey, Application no. 25781/94 (10 May 2001), Findings of the Court.

[19] Loizidou v. Turkey (1998) 26 EHRR.

[20] Loizidou v. Turkey (1997) 23 EHHR, Judgment, 1 of the operative provisions.

[21] Ibid., 2 of the operative provisions.

[22] Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey (46347/99) [2006] ECHR.

[23] UN Security Council Res.541 (1983), 1.

[24] Ibid., 2.

[25] Ibid., 7.

[26] UN Security Council Res. 550 (1984), 2.

[27] Common Statement in EC Bulletin 11-1983.

[28] Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Res. (83) 13 (73rd session).

[29] Statement made during Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting on 29 November 1983.

[30] Cyprus v. Turkey (2002) 35 EHRR 30, 44.

[31] Cyprus v Turkey, Application no. 25781/94 (10 May 2001) paras 77, 78 and 80; Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey, Application no. 46347/99 (22 December 2005) para 27.

[32] Anglo-French Continental Shelf Arbitration (para 148), Jan Mayen case (para 56), Qatar v Bahrain case (para 231).

[33] International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea ("ITLOS") Judgment in the Bangladesh/Myanmar case (para 238)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.