Turkey’s navtex for German research vessel are unauthorized, JRCC Commander tells CNA

The German research vessel Maria S. Merian from the University of Hamburg is expected to arrive between 3-4 March off Cyprus’ coast to conduct research in EEZ blocks 4, 5, 6 and 7, with the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus telling CNA that all legal licenses have been acquired. They note, however, that navigational telexes issued by Turkey, reserving an area between Cyprus and Crete for the ship, are unauthorized and have been already countered by anti-navtex.

Speaking to CNA, Commander of Cyprus’ Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC), Commodore Constantinos Fitiris said that the University of Hamburg applied for a license from all three countries (Greece, Turkey and Cyprus) to conduct research in an area between Crete and Cyprus.

A license for EEZ blocks 4, 5, 6 and 7 was requested by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and was subsequently granted, Fitiris went on. He added that the University of Hamburg also applied to Greece for a license for the areas close to Crete, and could apply to Turkey in case part of the area falls under its jurisdiction. Turkey would then be obliged to issue a navtex for this part only, he added.

The JRCC Commander said that the ship has acquired all necessary licenses, however the Turks are trying to exploit the situation, by issuing a navtex covering the whole of the area from Crete to Cyprus.

According to Commodore Fititris, the research vessel has docked at the port of Heraklion and will begin its research activities off the Greek area first. As it sails towards Cyprus, the JRCC will issue a navtex, warning other ships about its research activities.

He said moreover that the University of Hamburg applied for licenses months ago and Greece and Cyprus issued them in accordance with the Law of the Sea.

In an effort to mislead and show everybody that they are responsible for the whole area from Crete to Cyprus, the Turks issued a navtex on their own. We cancelled it and we will issue a new navtex, once the ship arrives in our region the JRCC Commander underlined.

Turkey issued its navtex last Friday and the JRCC responded immediately by issuing its anti-navtex.

Source: Cyprus News Agency