Briefing on Turkey’s stance on energy in the Eastern Mediterranean

18 October 2018

Turkey is taking an increasingly assertive stance against what it regards as its exclusion from agreements over the region’s energy resources

  • The issue of gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean continues to be a source of tension in the region
  • The government of the Republic of Cyprus, which administers the southern half of the divided island, recently announced a deal with Cairo that aims to see gas jointly exported to Europe
  • This poses a serious challenge to Turkey’s own ambitions, with indications that the Turkish Navy is planning to expand its presence in the region

The foreign ministers of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have met in Ankara amid ongoing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean over the region’s natural gas reserves. In February, Turkish warships restricted the movements of the Saipem 12000, a floating rig operated by the Italian company ENI, which has been exploring for gas off the coast of Cyprus.

The Saipem 12000 had been working in the area with the authorisation of the government of the Republic of Cyprus, which…

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