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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-07-01

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 122/16 01.07.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Albayrak stresses stability as solution to energy problems; Statements on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Israeli Energy Minister: Israeli gas may reach Turkey in three years
  • [03] Akinci: The Turkish Cypriots should be ready for terrorist attacks
  • [04] The "Economic Prospects of a Cyprus Settlement" were discussed at the EP
  • [05] Talat blames the police of the Republic of Cyprus because those who had attacked him in Limassol were acquitted
  • [06] KTOS and KTOEOS demonstrated in front of the "Turkish embassy" against the so -called police's practices
  • [07] "Agreements" between Turkey and the breakaway regime on health and consumers protection entered into force
  • [08] TDP to attend the Socialist International Meeting as an official member
  • [09] The water transferred from Turkey has started flowing in occupied Famagusta
  • [10] Erdogan: Normalization to benefit Turkey, Israel and Russia
  • [11] Cavusoglu: Turkey and Russia should build a common future
  • [12] Chapter 33 of the EU acquis opened in Brussels
  • [13] CHP poses 11 questions to Turkish Prime Minister on ISIL
  • [14] Turkish intelligence warned of potential Istanbul airport attack around 20 days ago: Report
  • [15] Commentary on the new international security order in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • [16] Commentary on how Turkey's agreement with Israel will change the power equation in the Mediterranean

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Albayrak stresses stability as solution to energy problems; Statements on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Sabah (01.07.16) reports that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has declared that the solutions to energy problems are: the regional and global stability and peace.

    Albayrak, who served as the moderator of the panel session "Predictions, Opportunities and Threats for International Energy Development", which took place in China's capital city of Beijing as part of the G20 Energy ministers' meeting, said that energy markets are rapidly becoming globalized and pointed out the importance of bringing this subject up in a period when opportunities and risks are increasing.

    Referring to the case of Cyprus and what will happen with Cyprus and the energy issue, Albayrak gave the signal for reaching to new agreements and stated: "We will undertake in the short and medium term more important steps in the framework of the win-win model. We had been asked whether there will be any developments or not with south Cyprus. The Cyprus negotiation process has reached to an important point. Still, the final agreement has been left for after the solution. The election results would give us important hints about the future of the island. Reconciliation of differences, peace and economic cooperation in the regional countries would affect them positively. Our approach about Cyprus is there since 2004. Reaching to an agreement for the interest of the Mediterranean basin and the entire island is very important. The development of energy policies by all on the condition that their rights are protected would reflect positively on the island", Albayrak said.

    (?)"We believe that energy sources and energy routes which are the sources of struggle today can also be the sources of collaboration, stability and alliances. We are also thinking that it is not possible for any country to provide security of supply singlehandedly without international alliances or solidarity," Albayrak also added, stressing that the primary concern of Turkey's politics is to bring peace on a regional and global level alongside stability.

    (?)

    (AK)

    [02] Israeli Energy Minister: Israeli gas may reach Turkey in three years

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (01.07.16) reports that Israeli Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz, speaking exclusively over the phone to Hurriyet newspaper on June 29, said that in the best scenario the Israeli natural gas may reach Turkey in three years and added: "In the circumstances, Israel may export its gas to Europe through Europe from the TANAP pipeline".

    Asked to comment on the Cyprus problem, the Israeli Minister replied that he does not want to take up the Cyprus issue.

    The paper writes: "In the forthcoming period, Cyprus will be in the agenda during the project of transferring the Israeli gas to Turkey. It is stated that the pipeline should be passed through Cyprus' EEZ. In the question whether this project will accelerate the negotiation process in Cyprus, Steinitz said: 'I think that the problem may be solved. During our meetings with the Greeks and the Cypriots, it has always been at the top of the agenda the normalization of Israel's relations with Turkey, both countries may want the constructions of such pipeline and it may go through Cyprus. In my opinion this obstacle may be overcome. Perhaps in the future, the pipeline may transfer also the Cyprus gas'. The Israeli Minister, who avoided speaking on this issue, stressed that the governments of Turkey and Cyprus will decide on this and added: 'I do not want to involve on his issue. It is an issue between Turkey and Cyprus'. "

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 01.07.16) reports that as Turkey and Israel move to restore their relationship after six years of strained ties, both sides are looking forward to the opportunity to transfer Israel's natural gas to Turkey, a move which could happen as early as 2019, according to Israel. "I think that it is quite likely that Israel will export natural gas to Turkey. And maybe also in the future we will export natural gas to Europe through the Turkish gas transmission system that is now under construction. I think it is good for Turkey. It is good for Israel," Steinitz told daily Hurriyet.

    Energy will be an important area of cooperation between the two countries, with Turkey being the most feasible route for Israel's future natural gas exports.

    "The deal, if there will be such a deal, it will be a deal between companies from both sides," Steinitz said, adding, "Israeli or American companies like Noble and Turkish companies".

    "The two countries however will have to agree to give some kind of consent to such a deal, and agree to the construction of a gas pipeline from Israeli economic water to Turkey," he noted.

    Israel can currently export 350 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, the Minister said, adding there was potential for more production. "According to the estimates, in a few years' time probably we will be able to export up to 2,500 bcm. This is a lot of gas", Steinitz said.

    "And if this will take place, it is just an estimate [but] this is also the estimate of [the] U.S. Department of Energy that we will discover in the next few years much more gas than what was discovered so far. If this happens Israel will have to export a lot of gas to Western Europe. Then Israel can export gas through Turkey through the TANAP pipeline, a very large pipeline that is going be built, from [the] Caspian Sea to Turkey through Europe," he said.

    Israel has three options to export gas to Europe, according to Steinitz, who outlined each of them.

    "[The] first one is the LNG [liquefied natural gas] facilities in [the] Egyptian delta. In Egypt there are two LNG facilities. One of the ideas there was already some kind of MoU [memorandum of understanding] between the companies in Egypt that gas from Israel will move to [the] Egyptian delta, and in those LNG facilities will be liquefied and shipped with ships from Egypt to Europe. This is one possibility, but it is quite expensive.

    "Another possibility is to build a pipeline from the Israeli economic water through Cyprus to Greece, a very long underwater pipeline. This is possible but it is a very big project and it might take much longer. It might take five to eight years to build such a very long undersea pipeline. Technically it is possible but it is quite expensive and quite long.

    "The third possibility to export gas to Europe is through Turkey. And there are two possibilities here. One possibility is that Israel will export gas to Turkey. Currently it is a lot of gas, but in the future it might be much more, almost actually unlimited de facto if we find the additional gas fields. And this is very likely. This is highly probable. And the other possibility, if the two countries will agree, is that gas from Israel and [the] Eastern Mediterranean basin in general will be transported through Turkey to Europe. And then Istanbul can become an international energy hub," he said.

    The Minister noted the cost estimates for a pipeline to Turkey was "about $2 billion or a little bit less", adding it would be financed by the private sector with the consent of both Turkey and Israel.

    "It will be [financed] by [the] business private sector on both sides. If everything will go well, I think? in 2019 Israeli gas from [the] Leviathan [gas field off the coast of Israel] can be exported to Turkey. It might be as early as 2019.

    "But of course you know once Leviathan will begin to produce natural gas, it is possible by this timeline to build a pipeline not just from Leviathan to Israel, but also from Leviathan to Turkey. In the best case scenario we are speaking about approximately three years. Of course it might take longer, it depends. But actually technically, if everything goes well, in three years from now Israeli natural gas can already be exported to Turkey," Steinitz said.

    (DPs)

    [03] Akinci: The Turkish Cypriots should be ready for terrorist attacks

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that the Turkish Cypriots should be ready to face terrorist attacks adding that nobody should remain calm thinking that such an attack could not happen.

    He made these statements during a meeting with the "chief of police forces" of the breakaway regime Suleyman Manavoglu.

    Referring to the terrorist attack that took place in Istanbul a few days ago, Akinci stated that their heart was hurt due to these events and said that being ready to face a possible attack is the greatest power against this kind of events. He also said that "the more ready the police is, the safest the society feels".

    Akinci went on adding that the "police" will be necessary in the future, in case a solution is reached. He also said that in case a federal solution is reached there will be the need for a federal police and of a police for each state, which will consist of the current "police members".

    The paper further reports that Akinci signed the condolences book opened at the "embassy of Turkey" in the occupied area of Cyprus. Akinci noted in his message that the attack took place during a period of positive developments in Turkey and added that it is obvious that terrorist circles do not want Turkey to live in peace.

    (CS)

    [04] The "Economic Prospects of a Cyprus Settlement" were discussed at the EP

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the issue of the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the European Parliament (EP) has been discussed during a conference organized at the EP under the title "Economic Prospects of a Cyprus Settlement". Addressing the conference, Ryszard Czarnecki, EP's Vice President and Polish MEP with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, suggested the implementation of the formula which is valid at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as regards the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the EP.

    The conference was hosted by Ilhan Kucuk, Bulgarian MEP of Turkish origin with the Liberals and Democrats' Alliance for Europe (ALDE). Omer Gokcekus, economic adviser of Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and Praxoulla Antoniadou Kyriakou, Greek Cypriot economist, addressed the conference.

    According to Armagan Candan, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Hasan Tacoy, "independent deputy" and Zeki Celer "deputy' with the Social Democracy Party (TDP), who participated in a delegation of the "assembly" which held contacts with EP and EU officials in Brussels, Fikri Toros, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, MEPs, foreign missions' representatives and officials from the EU Council and the EU Commission attended the conference.

    Czarnecki described as satisfactory the fact that the sides in Cyprus are carrying out result oriented intensified negotiations and argued that a comprehensive and viable solution in Cyprus will be for the benefit of not only the island alone but for the Eastern Mediterranean area as well. He said that the Turkish Cypriots' preparation for the EU acquis is of great importance for having an unproblematic unification and the ad hoc committee established by the Commission is extremely useful within this framework. He claimed that the Turkish Cypriots are not represented at the EP and that this problem should be overcome.

    In her address at the conference, Kyriakou said that in studies carried out during the period 2008-2010, it is predicted that with a solution in Cyprus the income of each household will increase by 12 thousand euro and 33 thousand new jobs will be created due to the growth in the sectors of tourism, constructions, transports and manufacturing. She noted that significant money savings will be secured due to the reduction of the spending on armaments, the foreign investments will increase and additional income will be secured from the export to Europe of the natural gas found around the island.

    Addressing the conference, Gokcekus said that the solution will offer great opportunities to the Turkish Cypriots, but the accession process of the Turkish Cypriot side to the EU has not been completed and therefore a series of differences exist between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot business environments. He argued that the EU has a great duty on the issue of the harmonization of the "laws" and the practices in the "TRNC" with the acquis.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Talat blames the police of the Republic of Cyprus because those who had attacked him in Limassol were acquitted

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi newspaper (01.07.16) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat told the paper that he was not surprised by the fact that the ELAM members who attacked him during a conference in Limassol in 2014 were acquitted by a court in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus. The court acquitted two out of the three attackers against Talat.

    Noting that he was even expecting such a decision, Talat blamed the police of the Republic of Cyprus of "not even trying to prevent the incident" and of not submitting enough evidence to the court. He claimed:

    "At this point I cannot say anything about the judiciary. It seems that the police have not submitted adequate evidence to the court. In any case, the police had not even tried to prevent the incident. Everyone in the room saw who did something and what they did. I also saw. Is it possible for the police not to have seen? [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] KTOS and KTOEOS demonstrated in front of the "Turkish embassy" against the so -called police's practices

    Under the title "Do not touch our fate, our culture and our identity", Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the trade unions of elementary and high school teachers, KTOS and KTOEOS organized a symbolic demonstration in front of the "Turkish embassy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia protesting against the fact that the "police" prevented them to read a statement in front of the Theological College in occupied Mia Milia village.

    The paper writes that the "police" did not allow to the protestors to come near the "embassy" and to put a black wreath in front of the "embassy", causing reactions and tension between the protestors and the "police". The black wreath was finally given to the police to give it to the "Turkish ambassador" Derya Kanbay.

    Speaking during the event, KTOS general secretary Senel Elcil stated that protesting is the most natural right and accused the police of closing the road 20 meters away from the "embassy". He also said that according to a decision of the "high court" the "police" cannot close any road it wants. He added that they will bring the issue before a "court" and wondered who made the decision for "police's" actions.

    On his part, the chairman of KTOEOS Tahir Gokcebeli, said that there is an intentional intervention to the religion, the culture, the will and the education of the Turkish Cypriot community, adding that the teachers cannot allow this.

    (CS)

    [07] "Agreements" between Turkey and the breakaway regime on health and consumers protection entered into force

    Turkish Cypriot Vatan newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the "protocol' and the "agreements" between Turkey and the "TRNC", the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, as regards the fields of the consumers protection and health have been published in Turkey's official gazette and entered into force.

    The "cooperation protocol" on the consumers' protection between Turkey's Ministry of Customs and Commerce and the breakaway regime's economy, industry and commerce self-styled ministry provides for the "mutual and continuous" cooperation and exchange of views in the fields of consumer protection and market surveillance and control. They will also organize seminars and exchange experts aiming at the development of personnel capacity, e-commerce, distance sales, advertisement, solution of complains and market surveillance.

    The "agreement" in the field of health provides, inter alia, for Turkey giving vaccines to the regime for various illnesses.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] TDP to attend the Socialist International Meeting as an official member

    Turkish daily Afrika newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the Social Democratic Party (TDP) will attend for the first time officially the Socialist International meeting which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland between July 1-2.

    According to a written statement issued by the TDP, the party will be represented by a delegation headed by Baris Erkmen, member of the party central committee.

    TDP has become an official member of the Socialist International last November during the meeting which took place in Angola. TDP's official membership was accepted unanimously.

    (AK)

    [09] The water transferred from Turkey has started flowing in occupied Famagusta

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (01.07.16) reports that the "mayor" of occupied Famagusta Ismail Arter, in statements yesterday to the paper, stated that the water transferred from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus has started coming up from the taps in occupied Famagusta as of yesterday morning. He, however, called the inhabitants in occupied Famagusta not to use the water as potable since the water pipes of the Famagusta region are old as he explained.

    Arter added that they will exert efforts to renew the water pipes in order for the water to become potable as of August.

    (AK)

    [10] Erdogan: Normalization to benefit Turkey, Israel and Russia

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.07.16), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday night that steps taken to normalize relations with Russia and Israel are based on a "win-win" principle for all three countries. "We never thought of a one-sided step", Erdogan said at an iftar dinner in Ankara. All steps taken were "based on the win-win principle," he said. "In other words, both Turkey and Russia must win; both Turkey and Israel must win as a result of these negotiations and agreements". Both Russia and Israel are key trade partners for Turkey and commercial ties suffered as a result of frosty relations.

    The Turkish President added he will meet Putin ahead of the G20 summit of leading rich and developing nations, to be held in China in October. "We decided to quickly take steps regarding tourism," said Erdogan, adding that Turkey's borders will be open for Russian tourists, as Russian borders will be open for Turks.

    Speaking a day after a deadly attack at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, Erdogan expressed condolences to all of those who have died in Turkey due to terrorism, referring to the attack in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    Those who killed innocent victims "had prepared their place in hell" and had nothing to do with Islam, as the Quran says that "killing an innocent person is like killing all mankind," Erdogan said.

    Turkey is "passing through a severe test" as "a country that is the target of the world's bloodiest terrorist organizations," said Erdogan, but he has not the "slightest doubt that we will conquer these terror organizations. Sooner or later, we will get through this".

    Erdogan thanked those world leaders, including Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had called him and sent condolence messages.

    [11] Cavusoglu: Turkey and Russia should build a common future

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.16), Turkey and Russia should look ahead and learn from the lessons of the past, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday in an article published in a Russian newspaper.

    "Our opinion is that the Turkish and Russian nations expect from us to look ahead by taking lessons from the past experiences," Cavusoglu said in the "Kommersant" that evaluated relations between the two countries.

    "Our sincere wishes are that we should fulfil this expectation, we should build the common future, and we should make a new inception," he added.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that sanctions would be lifted in accordance with instructions by Putin and that restrictions would be "gradually" lifted in order to prevent harm to Russian producers, adding that Russia would demand guarantees by the Turkish government to ensure the safety of Russian tourists.

    Cavusoglu said that the relationship between Russia and Turkey would not be based on competition but on friendship and cooperation. "We believe that the two countries have the much of required institutional, economic and sociocultural basis", he said.

    [12] Chapter 33 of the EU acquis opened in Brussels

    According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 01.07.16), Chapter 33 of Turkey's European Union accession process was opened Thursday in Brussels with EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Omer Celik, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Finance Minister Naci Agbal in attendance. Drawing attention to the long stagnation in Turkey-EU relations, Celik stressed the importance of opening two EU accession chapters within the last six months. He said that Chapter 33 on Financial and Budgetary Provisions is directly related with full membership: "Opening this chapter up for discussion is the most solid indicator of Turkey's commitment to its objective of full membership." Celik further said that Turkey's position will be strong in Europe regardless of Britain's exit from the EU.

    Finance Minister Naci Agbal said that no difficulties are expected due to the opening of Chapter 33, as Turkey's organizational capacity is adequate. Underlining the efficient cooperation of the Finance Ministry, Agbal said: "The Finance Ministry will keep on making progress in enhancing the alignment and application of the acquis in Chapter 33 as well as the other relevant chapters."

    ''To tell you the truth, Turkey is ready to and deserves to open more chapters,'' Cavusoglu added, underscoring that Turkey will not only open Chapter 33 in Brussels, but will also show determination to open chapters for its EU accession. Chapter 33 will be the 16th chapter Turkey has opened since Oct. 3, 2005, when it first launched membership negotiations. Countries hoping to join the EU must complete negotiations in 35 chapters. Turkey's accession talks started in 2005.

    Speaking at a televised press conference in Brussels ahead of the meeting to open Chapter 33 on Financial and Budgetary Provisions in Turkey's EU accession process, Cavusoglu said that Turkey will not take steps backward in its fight with terrorism, but instead will strengthen it after the suicide attack at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport on Tuesday, which killed over 40 people.

    He further reiterated that Turkey will not change its anti-terrorism law and EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Omer Celik urged Europe to understand Turkey's sensitivities in fighting terrorism on Thursday.

    Calling on other countries for help, Cavusoglu said: "It is seen that there is a deficiency in our fight with terror, as we mostly have to fight with the border threat of DAESH on our own", and further emphasized the need for a plan for collective action, as collective statements are not enough now.

    Touching on the visa liberalization, Cavusoglu said that Turkey has fulfilled almost all the required criteria, adding: "We are now expecting the EU to keep its word concerning visa liberalization" and that the issue will be discussed with the first vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, that day.

    [13] CHP poses 11 questions to Turkish Prime Minister on ISIL

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 30.06.16), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that he has prepared 11 key questions about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to be answered by Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m, following the June 28 attack by the jihadist group at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport which left 44 dead and hundreds wounded.

    Kilicdaroglu said on June 30 that he was asking the following questions "on behalf of 78 million Turkish citizens complaining about terror", and referred to a number of previous statements made by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials.

    -Which government refused to call ISIL a "terrorist organization" after Turkey's Mosul Consulate was raided and 49 citizens were taken hostage in the summer of 2014?

    -Which Deputy said: "[The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party] PKK and ISIL are not terror organizations"?

    -From which party is the person who said: "ISIL, we are glad to have you. May God not reduce your bullets"?

    -During which party's time in office did ISIL grow and be protected? Is it true that there are members who have joined ISIL from 70 provinces in Turkey?

    -Which government protected and took ISIL militants under its wings for treatment in Turkey after they were wounded in clashes in Syria? Which government sent them back to Syria after they recovered?

    -Which government supports jihadist groups not only in Turkey but also in Syria, including ISIL, by sending arms via trucks?

    -When did the National Security Council decide that ISIL was a terror organization? Has the National Security Council issued such a decision?

    -Which prosecutor in Turkey has prepared an indictment against the ISIL terror organization? On what grounds does the prosecutor's office that has prepared indictments on the FETO [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] not prepare an indictment for ISIL?

    -Who is the leader in Turkey of the ISIL terror organization? How can this person, known by everyone, walk around freely in Turkey? Who is protecting this person?

    -Hundreds of our citizens have lost their lives as a result of ISIL terror organization attacks over the past year. Who is politically responsible for those bombs exploding?

    -The Prime Minister said in a statement on the latest bombing that there was no security gap that allowed it to happen. If there was no security gap, that means there was an administrative gap. Does the Prime Minister accept this?

    Meanwhile, commenting on the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) rejection of a parliamentary motion to found a research commission on ISIL, CHP head Kilicdaroglu accused the party of having an "ideological affinity" with the jihadist group.

    He also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "U-turn" on relations with Israel, saying this was evidence of a "narcissistic personality".

    [14] Turkish intelligence warned of potential Istanbul airport attack around 20 days ago: Report

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.06.16), Turkish intelligence units sent a warning letter to related state institutions about a potential attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group targeting Istanbul around 20 days ago, before the city's main airport was hit in a deadly terror attack late on June 28, a senior Turkish journalist based in Ankara has reported.

    Speaking during a live broadcast on June 29, Dogan TV's Ankara representative Hande F?rat stated that intelligence units sent a warning letter to all state institutions about a possible attack on Istanbul. "Intelligence units sent a warning letter to the top of the state and all its institutions in early June, around 20 days ago, about Istanbul," F?rat said.

    She added that the names of the targeted places were included on the list in the message, with the Istanbul Ataturk Airport also mentioned.

    [15] Commentary on the new international security order in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 01.07.16), under the title "The Eastern Mediterranean vortex", publishes the following commentary by Dr Ian O. Lesser:

    "In important ways, the future of the international security order is being shaped in the Eastern Mediterranean. A marginal theatre during the Cold War, today the Eastern Mediterranean has moved from the periphery to the very centre of global concerns. The land and sea space spanning the Levant, the Aegean, Egypt, and onward to Libya, is set to be a zone of persistent chaos and conflict. NATO, the EU, and others, including Russia and China, are now compelled to address the challenges of strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the midst of this pervasive tension, there are a few positive opportunities, including the potential for a Cyprus settlement, Turkish-Israeli reconciliation, and cooperation regarding the region's energy resources.

    The Levant and North Africa are principal theatres in the struggle to contain and roll back violent Islamist groups bent on the control of territory and the export of terrorism. The jihadist threat could also acquire a more significant maritime dimension. The maritime environment is a challenging one for terrorists who are used to operating ashore, but the threat from this quarter should not be exaggerated. Maritime security in the Mediterranean is among the most obvious areas for multilateral security cooperation led by NATO and the EU. Indeed, both are already engaged in this area, including NATO's longstanding Operation Active Endeavour and the more recent deployment in support of refugee control in the Aegean.

    The Eastern Mediterranean is the place where Europe's post-enlargement external policy is being formed and tested. Migration will be a key factor in shaping the future of the European project, from the survival of the Schengen regime to foreign and security policy. The close connection to internal security and identity concerns within European societies gives the Mediterranean migration question a sharp edge in this time of populist politics and widespread disillusionment with elite projects and institutions.

    Russia, an old Mediterranean actor, has returned to the region in dramatic fashion after the collapse of its Cold War-era presence. For the moment, Russia is a leading strategic concern for NATO in the south as well as the east. Turkey is particularly exposed to Russia's new assertiveness around the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

    China, too, is acquiring greater stakes in the Eastern Mediterranean. China's vaunted "one belt, one road" initiative promises to bring China into the Mediterranean world in a more direct fashion. Although a relatively marginal actor today, China's growing role in the region will be increasingly difficult to ignore in the years ahead.

    Arguably, the centre of gravity in the Middle East is shifting from the Gulf to the Mediterranean and above all, the Eastern Mediterranean. Iran plays a key role here, with its active involvement in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. If US-Saudi relations continue to cool, the prospects for some form of limited alignment with Iran in the fight against ISIL and Al Qaeda are likely to grow.

    Disenchantment with business as usual with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, reduced anxiety about Gulf energy, and the rise of security concerns in the Levant and North Africa, could encourage a broader westward shift in America's Middle Eastern strategy. This would unfold against the backdrop of a renewed American investment in European security, and would imply a net shift from the Gulf to the Mediterranean in terms of strategy and presence. The hard security dimension of European security looking south is likely to receive more attention at NATO's July 2016 Warsaw Summit, and afterwards.

    Turkey is the place where the eastern and southern dimensions of transatlantic strategy meet. Turkey is hardly alone in facing the deteriorating strategic environment in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it is certainly the most exposed transatlantic partner. The collapse of the security order in Turkey's neighbourhood has understandably thrown Turkish policy into disarray. Taken together with the need for reassurance and deterrence vis-a-vis Russia, it is not surprising that Ankara now looks to rebuild strained ties with transatlantic security partners."

    [16] Commentary on how Turkey's agreement with Israel will change the power equation in the Mediterranean

    Columnist Erdal Tanas Karagol, writing in Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 30.06.16), analyses in the following commentary how Turkey's agreement with Israel will change the power equation in the Mediterranean:

    "The vital point of Turkey-Israel relations are the Palestine issue. Turkey's sensitivity toward this issue increased after the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power. Despite the Palestine fault line, economic and diplomatic relations continued until then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'One Minute' scolding.

    A year after this incident the Mavi Marmara raid occurred on May 31, 2010. After this incident, Turkey's negative attitude toward Israel did not change despite all mediation attempts. Turkey had conditions to re-establish diplomatic relations. Six years later, Israel accepted these conditions.

    Israel already has obligatory relations with the countries in the region. However, the real reason behind Israel wanting to restart its diplomatic and economic relations is 'power'.

    The dynamics of the global power equation changed after 2010. New developments took place in power, especially in the region. Therefore, naturally Israel sought not to be left out of the equation.

    What changed in the power equation of the region that caused Israel to be concerned?

    Turkey started the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), which expects to buy gas from Azerbaijan for itself and to serve as a bridge between TANAP and the interested EU countries. Many actors in the power field are aiming to establish close ties with Turkey in order to realize mutual energy projects.

    The removal of sanctions from Iran has brought Iran back into the power equation. It is evident that Iran wants to enter the world markets and turn its resource into income.

    The Northern Iraq Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is determined to cooperate with Turkey in selling its gas and petrol on global markets despite experiencing problems with its central government.

    The Turkish Stream project was shelved after the Russia-Turkey plane crisis. Being 50 percent dependent on Russia for its power, Turkey sought alternatives, while many countries want to serve Turkey in this field.

    Therefore a pre-agreement was signed with Qatar's liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in order to avoid the negative effects of the energy crisis with Russia. Within this scope, the new period of constructing a power storage and gasification terminal has started.

    Turkey making power agreements with different countries strengthens it in the power equation of the region. Regional countries are becoming interested in Turkey for energy agreements. In addition to all this, Israel's energy report does not look good at all.

    HOW WILL ISRAEL CHANGE THE POWER EQUATION?

    The groundwork for the agreements with Egypt and Jordan is not ready yet. Another question is: To whom will Israel sell the gas it discovered in Leviathan and Tamar in 2009? Will it transport this natural gas through the LNG line or pipelines? Besides, it needs investments to do this transfer as well as financing.

    In this respect, Turkey offers a low-cost and secure route. Israel will provide Turkey with natural gas and also use Turkey as a bridge to supply the EU market with natural gas. Otherwise it is very hard for Israel to enter the global market without Turkey's help.

    Thus, Turkey's strategic position is very important for Israel's natural gas to meet the demand. Yet, while Turkey uses its advantage it should not forget that this natural gas is actually Palestine's.

    THE POWER EQUATION IS OPEN TO NEW MOVES

    Northern Iraq entering the EU market with TANAP and Israel entering it with other projects restricts Russian and Iranian hegemony in the region.

    Therefore Israel will try to create competition among regional competitors like Iran and Russia in order to provide energy to the EU market via Turkey. This will especially affect Iran in revising the high prices it requests from Turkey for natural gas.

    Israel having the upper hand in energy directly depends on its relations with Turkey. Turkey should consider Israel's request to negotiate within the parameters of both diplomacy and energy dynamics. Every step Turkey takes will determine the future of Palestine and the dynamics of the regional power equation." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    (DPs/ AM)


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