Cyprus, Israel and Turkey Near “High Noon” Standoff Over Med’s Natural Gas

ErdoganTurkish PM Erdogan at the UN: His way or no way

There’s a lot more for southern Cyprus to be alarmed about these days concerning its commitment to explore for natural gas offshore. First of all, there is the environmental factor dealing with undersea drilling off Cyprus, which could be damaging for an island so dependent on industries like tourism. There is also the acute water shortage issue, making Greek Cyprus heavily dependent on desalination for fresh water supplies.

But the most critical, as well as most dangerous problem that southern Cyprus may now be facing is an increasing belligerency from Turkey, which controls one third of this island; and whose proxy government there, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is telling the Greek Cypriots that it could become “very uncomfortable”  for them if they go ahead and do the drilling without the TRNC being able to participate as well.

New friends: Erdogan on recent visit to Egypt

The danger that the Greek Cypriots face is centered around the threats being made by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan, who is now threatening to station squadrons of Turkish F-16s in the TRNC that could be used against Greek controlled Cyprus should he consider it “necessary to do so”. International political and military strategists are looking at Turkey’s policies as “a redrawing of the strategic terrain of the eastern Mediterranean,” according to James Ker-Lindsay, a specialist on Turkey and Cyprus at the London School of Economics, and mentioned in a recent article in Bloomberg.

Turkey also has an increasing need for energy sources; and presently has to import most of its energy requirements, resulting in heavy financial expenditures. Although Julia reports today that it is has been secretly working on wind for the last two years.

The entire picture becomes even more intense with the addition of Erdogan’s increasing antagonism against Israel, whose natural gas exploration and production in the eastern Mediterranean is also being contested by Turkey, as well as by Lebanon. This is  resulting in Turkey forming “new alliances” with countries that at still in a state of war against Israel.

Turkey’s actions, which appear to be direct overtures toward Muslim countries, could cause it long term damage in its efforts to become a member of the European Union. This new  “Eastern outlook” , according to strategist James Ker-Lindsay, “would pretty much close Turkey’s hopes to become an EU member” should it resort to military action against Greek Cypress, as well as Israel.

Perhaps Mr. Erdogan, who many critics are saying desires to be Turkey’s uncrowned Sultan, wants his country to return to the days of the Ottoman Empire when Turkey was one of Islam’s religious and cultural centers. But even if Erdogan’s bellicosity is still considered by many to be a form of saber rattling, “these situations can have a nasty habit of spiraling out of control” says Ker-Lindsay.

Read more on natural issues  involving Cyprus, Israel, and Turkey:

Natural Gas Creating New Axis of Alliance Across the Mediterranean

Turkey Tells Egypt to Bypass Israel and Cyprus With Long Pipeline to Europe

Greek Cyprus Fearful Over Offshore Natural Gas Drilling

Cyprus Fears Environmental Impact of Undersea Gas Drilling


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11 thoughts on “Cyprus, Israel and Turkey Near “High Noon” Standoff Over Med’s Natural Gas”

  1. Bob says:

    Pual, how do you get that Israel is stealing from people from this article. For one Israel borders the Mediterranean, there international lines have always been disputed. Why does everyone join the party line that everyone should hate Israel. They have made some serious problems for themselves, however they still do have a right to existence. Unlike what Levy thinks. I wonder if he would be the one to shoot an Israeli child just to start the extermination that everyone is calling for. For on I find it disgusting that everywhere I read there is always someone who is calling for Israels destruction. As if the first time wasn’t enough.

  2. Filo says:

    You might have mentioned the fact that Turkey conquered half of Cyprus, kicked out the Greeks living there and brought in settlers from Turkey to take their place.

  3. ragged_soul says:

    Of course Israel is to blame, infused as as it is with delusions of preference, though Turkey could also be less demanding. Unfortunately, the USA is currently an Israeli puppet state, and so you cannot expect any help from that corner.

    When will the Arabs finally realise that the majority of their infighting is orchestrated by Israel, and that were they to stand together, the Middle East would be a very different place.

  4. Chris says:

    “Israel, as usual, appears to be trying to steal from others, and goes running to their media operators to manufacture blame on the nations complaining about Israel’s typically larcenous behaviour. Everyday it becomes clearer where the real trouble originates.”

    Paul I agree one hundred percent.

  5. Paul says:

    Israel, as usual, appears to be trying to steal from others, and goes running to their media operators to manufacture blame on the nations complaining about Israel’s typically larcenous behaviour. Everyday it becomes clearer where the real trouble originates from.

    1. Hi Paul,
      How can you justify what you call stealing? And what does this have to do with America’s Noble Energy the company arranging natural gas surveying? This company is one of the stakeholders.

  6. Levy says:

    Israel is the cancer of the Middle east that need to be scrapped.

  7. Moshe says:

    Israel please wake up Turkey is an enemy, don’t kid yourselves, Turkey is trying to heart Israel Internationally and makes an allied of Israel enemies. Team up with them against Israel. Loos this idiotic Turkey.

  8. Mehmet says:

    Let me just ask one thing…
    How can you say Turkey wants to be the Muslim Capital of the Middle East if Turkey is a Secular state… Not is Possible

  9. Maurice says:

    Hi Vassilis,

    Many thanks for the name correction. I also believe the gas drilling could be a curse – especially with the Turks involved. This Erdogan is definitely trying to become a “regional Napoleon” or should I say Sultan?

    I personally think that tourism and related industries are the best Desalination is very expensive and results in dumping heavily saline brine back into the sea.

  10. Vassilis says:

    Dear Maurice,

    Southern Cyprus or Greek Cyprus are not the official names, please use Republic of Cyprus. The issue of eco friendliness for our tourism rich country hasnt been even discussed by our Green party. I personally believe this gas is a curse and doesnt allow our government to find more long term plans to generate income.

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