By Stavros Lygeros
The neo-ottoman duo Erdogan – Davutoglu proclaims a policy of zero problems with Turkey’s neighbors, but as it usually the case with Ankara, its rhetoric is not aligned with its actions. A recent example is the threats to prevent the planned drilling (beginning on October 1) in “Block 12″ of the Cyprus EEZ. The drilling will be conducted by the American company Noble Energy (of Jewish interests).
Ankara is addicted to using the threat of military force, because this tactic usually brought results in the past. Only this time Ankara is not facing the fearful Greek political elite and the weak Cypriot Republic. In this game others are also involved. The EU, the U.S. and Russia have officially supported the rights of the Republic.
What’s most important is that the Israelis have promised to also protect the drilling in Cyprus’ “Block 12”. According to all indications, Israel, has indeed secured the “green light” from Washington. The attitude of Israel results from geopolitical considerations. Since the neo-Ottoman Turkey turned against it, in order to be recognized as the leader of the Muslim world, and given the turmoil in Egypt, the only politically safe and culturally friendly corridor of Israel to the West are the Greeks. So Israel started forming a strategic relationship with Cyprus and Greece. Moreover, Israel through this corridor will transfer its natural gas to Europe.
The attitude of Israel on this issue is an additional strong reason for the recent aggravation of its relations with Turkey. The Americans and Europeans support Cyprus and Israel not only because of the influence of the Jewish lobby. The energy deposits in the eastern Mediterranean will contribute to the energy independence of the EU from Russia. Therefore, they believe it is better these deposits to be exploited by their rightful owner (Cyprus), despite the problems posed by Turkey. To justify its verbal threats, Ankara argues that the Cypriot government has no right to exploit the deposits, because it does not represent the Turkish Cypriots. The argument is incorrect. The UN recognizes the Cypriot government as the legitimate government of all Cyprus, which has all the rights to do so.
However, the Turkish threats do not rely neither on Ankara’s position that the island has two states. According to the Turkish position, the “Greek Cypriot State” is entitled to have its own EEZ south of Cyprus. “Block 12″ is inside this EEZ and has nothing to do with the EEZ of the so called “Turkish Cypriot State” even if it was legal. In other words, we have another Turkish “bullying”, which, however, is not certain at all that this time will work.