President of Bahçeşehir University’s Maritime and Global Strategies Center, Resigned Rear Admiral Assoc. Dr. Cihat Yaycı’s interview on Yeni Şafak (May 17th 2021)
Interview in Turkish: https://www.yenisafak.com/gundem/filistine-libya-modeli-deniz-yetki-anlasmasi-dengeleri-degistirebilir-3633614
One of the architects of Turkey’s “Blue Homeland” concept, Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı, offered Turkey to sign a maritime delimitation agreement with Palestine much like how Turkey once signed a maritime delimitation agreement with Libya. Yaycı said, “This agreement will increase the international recognition of Palestine and thus increase the support for Palestine in terms of realpolitik.” Yaycı showed Yeni Şafak a map showing how Turkey could be neighboring Palestine from the sea and said, “The continental shelf delimitation agreement we signed with the TRNC in 2011 is an example. This agreement is valid even though the TRNC is not a UN member state. An agreement can be signed with Palestine in a similar manner “.
President of Bahçeşehir University Maritime and Global Strategies Center, Resigned Rear Admiral Assoc. Dr. Cihat Yaycı evaluated the pursuit of finding an international relief against the attacks of Israel. Noting that a great responsibility falls on the shoulder of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Yaycı said, “The OIC should push the United Nations and the Security Council with some sanctions. Most of the member states possess oil and natural resources. When will these resources be used if not be used as a trump card today? Restrictions and embargoes regarding the import-export should also be considered”.
Stating that two-headedness in Palestine is further strengthening Israel’s hand, Yaycı noted Hamas and Fatah should act together. Yaycı proposed that Turkey, the strongest advocate of the Palestinian cause, be appointed by Palestine as a mediator: “When we were saying that we are neighbors with Israel, we were also saying that we are neighbors with Palestine. The advantages brought by the neighbor relationship should be used. Can an agreement be made with Palestine? It can be done. The location Turkey will make a delimitation agreement with is the Gaza Strip. Palestine’s two-headedness is not valid there. “
Drawing attention to the gains of a potential agreement to be signed, Yaycı said: “A position such that of in Libya can also be created. The Israeli factor here does not pose an obstacle to the agreement. If Palestine can become a member of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (East-Med), it can also sign an agreement with us. Palestine’s East-Med membership is an indication that Palestine is indeed an international unit with a coast in the Eastern Mediterranean. Utilizing the East-Med, such an agreement could shift the current game played against Turkey in our favor. It will be a strategic chess move for us. “
“If this agreement is signed, we ensure that Palestine has rights to the natural gas in the seas. In doing this while we support Palestine, we also spoil the game of Greece and the Greek Cypriot side. Although at first glance due to its current alliances in the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel would seem to oppose it, however, Israel will not react strongly to such an agreement to be made by Palestine, who is already a member of the East-Med Gas Forum. Considering the potential gains for both Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean, it is time for such an agreement to be signed. Just as this agreement will make a great contribution to the international recognition of Palestine, it will also increase international support for Palestine in terms of realpolitik. In the face of such a development, Israel would be left to face with others in the international community in a completely different manner. “
Although Palestine is not recognized in the UN, Yaycı said, “There is no requirement for a state to be recognized by the UN for it to be a state. According to the Montevideo Convention dated 1933, it is enough to have borders, a human ensemble who have gained the characteristics of a community, and a government. Gaza has all of this. Taiwan is an example. Then, we can sign this agreement. We just cannot register it with the UN. The important thing is the agreement itself. The greatest example of this is the continental shelf delimitation agreement we signed with the TRNC in 2011. This agreement is valid even though the TRNC is not a member of the UN ”.
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