Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)



First Advisor

William Butler


The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [hereinafter: LOSC] is widely accepted as the constitution of the oceans. Only four countries in the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea voted against the LOSC: The United States, Venezuela, Israel, and Turkey. Turkey voted against the LOSC because of dissatisfaction with the provision concerning the breadth of the territorial sea (Article 3), the delimitation of the territorial sea (Article 15), and the regime of islands (Article 121). With regard to other provisions of the LOSC, Turkish delegates at the Conference made supportive explanations. This study examines Turkey's perspective on the Law of the Sea and attempts to understand whether Turkey's maritime practices differ from the LOSC, most of whose provisions have become customary international law.

The question of whether Turkey should accede to the LOSC, and under what conditions, is addressed. By considering all maritime spaces of Turkey, as well as its outstanding disputes regarding the Law of the Sea, this dissertation provides a comprehensive analysis of Turkey's approach to the Law of the Sea and increase one's understanding of how the rules developed in a branch of international law are interpreted and applied in a domestic legal order.


Full text publication forthcoming.