Turkey issues diplomatic note to Greece, Israel, EU over undersea cable deal in East Med

Turkey has sent a diplomatic note to Israel, Greece and the European Union, telling them that they need to seek its permission before launching a work on a proposed undersea power cable in the Eastern Mediterranean, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 15.

This photo shows a view of Turkey's research vessel Oruç Reis.

Duvar English

Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Greece, Israel and the European Union, saying they need to seek its permission to carry out work on the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean., state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 15.

On March 8, Israel, Greece and Greek Cyprus signed a memorandum of understanding on the EuroAsia Interconnector, which connects the electricity grids of the three states through a sub-sea cable.

The diplomatic note stated that the grid passes through Turkey's territorial waters, Anadolu Agency said, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources.

Any preliminary work or related initial cable-laying activities require Ankara's approval, the diplomatic note reportedly said. 

The EuroAsia Interconnector, which will be the world’s longest subsea power cable, will have a capacity of 1,000-2,000 megawatts (MW) and is expected to be completed by 2024.

It will cover three sections of the Mediterranean: some 310 kilometers between Israel and Cyprus, about 900 kilometers between Cyprus and Crete, and about 310 additional kilometers between Crete and mainland Greece.

The Turkish government's issuing of "diplomatic notes" over the project comes as Ankara and Athens have resumed talks to try to settle their dispute over gas exploration in the disputed waters.

The neighboring NATO members, at odds over energy rights and claims to Mediterranean waters, air space and the status of some Aegean islands, relaunched talks in January after a five-year hiatus.