While neo-Ottoman duo Erdogan and Davutoglu proclaim their
zero-problem policy regarding neighboring states, as is usually the case
with Turkey, their rhetoric has nothing to do with their actions.
recent example is the threats of military action against Cyprus’s plan
to conduct exploratory drilling in Block 12 of its maritime Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ), scheduled to begin on October 1.
This will be
carried out by US-based Noble Energy, a company with Israeli ties which
has the exploitation rights.
The fact that threats of military
action usually bear fruit has resulted in Ankara becoming addicted to
this tactic. This time round, however, it is not going against a
frightened Greek political elite or the weak Republic of Cyprus. The
European Union, the USA and Russia have all pledged their support for
Cyprus’s right to drill. Yet the most important factor in this case is
that Israel has pledged to protect the drilling taking place in the
area, including the Cypriot Block 12, apparently with Washington’s
Israel’s position is based on geopolitical expediencies.
From the moment neo-Ottoman Turkey turned against Israel in an effort
to be recognized as the Muslim world’s leading power, and given the
instability in Egypt, Israel’s only politically safe and culturally
friendly passage to the West is through Greece. This is why it is moving
toward the formation of a strategic relationship with Cyprus and
Greece. Moreover, the pipeline distributing any natural gas found to
Europe would pass through Greece. Israel’s position on this is an
additional, forceful cause of the recent deterioration in
The fact that Americans and Europeans
are backing Cyprus and Israel is not solely a result of Jewish lobbying.
The energy deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean will contribute to the
EU being energy-independent from Russia. Because of this, they consider
it is preferable for these deposits to belong to their legal
proprietor, Cyprus, as opposed to difficult Turkey.
To justify its
roaring, Ankara claims Nicosia has no right to exploit the deposits as
it doesn’t represent the Turk Cypriots. The UN, however, recognizes the
Cypriot government as the legitimate government of all of Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the Turk threats are not based on Ankara’s position that the
island has two states. According to Turkey’s position, “the
Greek-Cypriot state” is entitled to its own Exclusive Economic Zone to
the south of Cyprus; Block 12 would be part of this zone and not of the
EEZ that would belong to the “Turkish-Cypriot state,” if it was
In other words, here’s another case of Turkish bullying which might just not work this time round.