Another setback to resolving the long dispute between Turkey and Greece over which of them has sovereignty of the continental shelf and airspace of the Aegean Sea.
GV EXTERIOR The Peace Palace, The International Court of Justice building in The Hague
U.N. flag fluttering in breeze
SV PAN FROM Floor of chamber TO President and other Judges entering court
SV Court Judges take seats
SV Greek delegation listening to proceedings
SV Court President, Senor Eduardo Jiminez de Arechaga, of Uruguay, speaking
COURT PRESIDENT: "There proceedings, which relate to the de-limitation of the continental shelf between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea, were instituted by an application filed by Greece on 10 August, 1976. In this application, Greece found the jurisdiction of the Court first on Article Seventeen of the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes of 1928, read together with Article Thirty-six, paragraph one, and Article Thirty-seven of the Statute of Recall, and secondly, on a joint communique issued in Brussels on 31st May, 1975, following meetings between the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey. By an Order dated 11 September, 1976, the Court decided that written proceedings in this case should first be addressed to the jurisdiction of a Court to entertain the dispute."
The Turkish boycott left the fourteen Judges listening to the Greek case without a reply. However, four Turkish diplomats and legal experts did sit in the public seats just behind the empty chairs reserved for their country's missing lawyers. The Greek advocates argued that the panel had jurisdiction because of earlier Turkish commitments to submit to the Hague Court's judgement, most recently in 1975.
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Background: Another setback to resolving the long dispute between Turkey and Greece over which of them has sovereignty of the continental shelf and airspace of the Aegean Sea. On Monday (9 October), Turkey boycotted the opening of a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which was called to decide whether the panel has the jurisdiction to settle the dispute.
SYNOPSIS: The hearing was at the Peace Palace of the International Court of Justice.
The session, opening on Monday (9 October), was due to last two weeks. Greece launched the action in 1976. Only Greek representatives turned up because Turkey denies the Court's jurisdiction in the case. The next round of direct talks between the two countries is due to begin in Ankara, Turkey, next January. Turkey wanted these to take place before they turned to the World Court. Greece declares the panel can decide the continental shelf boundaries and oil exploration rights.
It was the Turks' despatching a ship to look for possible Aegean oil deposits in 1976 that severely strained relations with Greece. The Court President, Senor Eduardo Jiminez de Arechaga, of Uruguay, outlined the case.