The key in the Mediterranean - HATICE KARAHAN

The key in the Mediterranean

In my related articles I mentioned that Russia has been activating its desires for the warm sea through Syria. In this context, energy has been a critical factor. However, on one hand through natural gas in Syria's offshore, on the other hand probably with the desire to obtain Iraqi oil, Russia has been aiming to be integrated with the energy game in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, in my article in November last year titled “Energy games in the Mediterranean,” I mentioned the Greek Cypriot-Greece-Egypt triangle's search for cooperation in the region and noted that Israel should be kept in mind as one of the principal founders of the game.

From that day to this, as known, the region has continued to be shaken with entirely new developments and at this point various triangles and/or multilateral shapes have been drawn in the Mediterranean. Therefore, in this recent period in which waters are getting warmer, it is necessary to look at developments closely.


If we begin with prominent gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, we remember that discussions continued about Aphrodite in Cyprus offshore and the Tamar and Leviathan reserves in Israel. Besides, after the rich Zohr field was found in the Egyptian exclusive region in August, somehow this has been a game-changing discovery. And besides meeting the requirements in the domestic market, all these actors have fallen in love with the love of export.


Zohr's taking a place on the energy map is a development affecting Israel's plans. However, Israel loved the idea of selling the natural gas it found to Egypt. In recent weeks natural gas cooperation between Egypt and Israel has been in trouble because of revenge, but it can be said that Zohr is the main factor putting the future of business into trouble.

However, after the new resource Egypt will develop within four to five years, it is unknown to what extent it will need gas from Israel.

While Egypt's being known as a strong gas exporter in the region has threatened Israel's plans on energy trade, on the other hand it requires haste.

Therefore, as there should be progress in the Leviathan field immediately, there is a requirement for strong pipeline cooperation with partners like Turkey and/or Greece.


Greece is after taking various shares on its own from recent developments.

While the triangle I mentioned above with Greek Cyprus and Egypt is ongoing today, the dimension of the job has been growing with the inclusion of fresh Egyptian energy beyond Cyprus gas.

The trio that came together in the beginning of December, while discussing how to evaluate the resource in Aphrodite, no doubt have imagined the Zohr gas, which is richer, will reach other markets through this line. Of course at this point we need to note again Turkey's search for Turkish Cypriots' right in Cyprus gas.


It can be said that another pillar of the brother pair is Israel.

However, as I mentioned above, Israel needs partners which will both buy its gas and deliver it to other markets.

Since one of these is Turkey, the other is Greece. There the Cyprus line comes into play. In this context, it has already been planned to bring together the trio in question by the end of January. The content of the meeting could be both potential destination of pipelines and developing Aphrodite and Leviathan together. Of course, possible cooperation will not be a bed of roses. However, since there will be a situation that Turkey will not approve here on the Cyprus issue, it is also wondered how Greece's recognition of Palestine will affect relations.

Another important problem is the Aphrodite border discussion between Israel and Greek Cyprus…


Shortly, both to construct pipeline destination and both in an environment law energy prices are dominant, in order to make investments meaningful economically, it is obvious that various cooperation will be established in the region.

As these efforts have been going on, no doubt that Turkey has a critical situation because of its “geo-economic” value that will be able to carry Mediterranean gas to Europe.

This is the situation both from the aspect of Europe, which is tired of Russia, and energy-rich countries of the Mediterranean… Within this scope, among the reasons Israel approaches Turkey recently, besides other geopolitical reasons, we can guess that an energy that is the mixture of natural gas and oil has a significant place.

But at this point it has to be indicated that even if Turkey is the most logical destination for opening of Israeli gas to the world, it is in question that the line will pass through the region which Greek Cyprus declared its exclusive region.

Therefore when taken into account from various aspects, Turkey seems to play a key role in the potential equation in the region. Whether it will be unlocked is closely related with whether the key for the Cyprus issue will be found.

Perhaps this key will be found more easily by this means.

On the contrary entering the energy game in the region by breaking down the doors will not bring good results at all.


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