Greece and Turkey, what lies behind the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean Sea: Erdogan’s aims on gas, the role of Cyprus and Libya

Exchanges of accusations between Greece And Turkeyat a time when the two countries are essentially at the pinnacle of geopolitical tensionswith the energy dossier and the consequent military and diplomatic reverberations. The Turkish Foreign Minister took care of it Mevlut Cavusoglu to reinvigorate the controversy over the American role in the Eastern Mediterranean, when he recalled that Turkey will supply arms and increase its military presence in the side of Cyprus occupied by the Turks, in response to the choice of United States to partially revoke thearms embargo in Cyprus. A few hours earlier the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan he claimed he wanted to do “whatever is necessary to defend the Turkish rights on the Aegean islands ”, triggering further tension since the current division of the Aegean islands is the daughter of Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, regularly contested by Ankara since the presence of gas in that handkerchief of waters.

Geopolitics
According to Erdogan, Greece’s motivation “to arm the islands is inconsistent with reason and with the alliance. The policy of provocation and of voltage it is not, and will not be, an advantage for anyone ”. Athens is concerned that it will “Ukraine scheme” triggered by Moscow on the annexation of the separatist republics can be replicated in some way also in the Aegean and has invested Brussels and the Born of the matter. In fact, the vice president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, reiterated his certainty that Europe will be able to move in a coordinated and collective way in the energy sector, an issue closely connected to the tensions with Turkey. He said he was particularly worried about “the uncontrollable incendiary rhetoric neighbors ”, explaining that he himself interprets it as“ a sign of their own insecurity on their position in the world and in the current geopolitical context ”. Translated: while Ankara is playing a role in the game of grain and in post-war diplomacy in Ukraine, Athens can count on the unconditional support of Washington And Paris under gas and defense.

The role of Greece
Greece has become the new gas-hub of the Mediterranean, in light of the fact that the pipeline passes through its territory Tapthe interconnector Igb with the Bulgaria and that the port of Alexandroupolis is currently interested in the project of the Frsu, a floating terminal that will allow to increase the presence (and use) of gas. Athens is in fact the main Mediterranean hub, also in light of the decisions that will be taken on the gas present in Cyprus and in Israelor rather the deposits Leviathan, Zohr And Kronos. Until last year, the construction of the Eastmed pipeline to bring up in Salento the 1,900-kilometer pipelines, but later the US preferred to stop the onshore / offshore project, marking it as too expensive (6 billion dollars) and a harbinger of tensions with Turkey which would have been excluded. The invasion of Ukraine has changed the pattern, making the question of European energy independence central again. Among other things, the Italian Edison recently reiterated that if the pipeline were to be built, Italy could benefit from an additional gas flow of 10 billion cubic meters of gas in 4 years.

Turkey & Libya
Also for this reason, the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu will soon visit Libya to sign the bilateral agreement for the Exclusive Economic Zone where some Turkish companies will be engaged in exploitation of Petroleum and natural gas. Erdogan’s right-hand man continues to accuse Athens of interferencewithout remembering that that Turkish-Libyan agreement represents one “vertical” fracture in the Mediterranean map, because it creeps into the waters of Crete, which as is well known is Greek territory, therefore of an EU member state. According to Cavusoglu, Greece is upset because Turkey has taken on an important role. “First we signed the agreement with Libya on the delimitation of maritime areas. So we have determined i western limits of our continental shelf. Nine times ships from Greece, Greek Cypriots and third countries have attempted to enter. We avoided all this with the diplomatic effortsie with the measures we have taken on the ground. Turkey’s importance and success in the international arena drives Greece crazy. This is why Greece wants to challenge Turkey ”. Among the occasions to which Cavusoglu refers there is also that of two weeks ago, in which the Greek Coast Guard opened fire on a ship she had refused to stop for an inspection offshore Bozcaada (Tenedos), in theNorthern Aegean. The hypothesis being examined by the investigators is that of arms smuggling on the Turkey-Libya axis. Before calling Anatolianthe ship was called Mavi Marmara and had been involved in the 2010 in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade from Gaza.

The role of the USA
Washington, which signed a historic bilateral treaty with Athens for the use of four Hellenic bases, has framed Greece as its new point of military support for two absolutely significant quadrants such as the Euro-Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern one: the American Sixth Fleet will carry out the maintenance on a Greek shipyard-island, the base of Souda Bay in Crete will be doubled to increase the capacity of nuclear submarineswhere the long runway of the airport is already used for parking B-52 bombers andAir Force presidential when needed. Finally, the port of Alexandoupolis is already used by the US Navy to move troops and vehicles up to NATO countries which are located in the far east of the EU. Greece also, after buying 18 Rafale hunting from France, it should also receive a patrol of F-35.

The provocations
To return to the Turkish threats, the words of Erdogan and Cavusoglou are added to the continuous ones trespassing in the Hellenic skies of the F-16 and of Turkish drones: the Minister of Defense also got on one of the fighters provocatively Akar, opening another front with Athens and Brussels, due to Turkey’s membership of NATO. Turkey which, a few days later, startled all the Atlantic allies by taking part in Samarkand at the top of the SCO, for the first time in the history of NATO. The US National Security Advisor spoke about the issue two days ago in Istanbul Jake Sullivan and the chief adviser of the Turkish presidency Ibrahim Kalin. The two sides also discussed their continued support for Ukraine in the face ofRussian aggression, including the condemnation of the Russian attempt to illegally annex Ukrainian territory. But particular emphasis was placed “on the importance of dialogue and of diplomacy in the resolution of any disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean “.

Twitter: @FDepalo

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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