Tag Archives: Cyprus

Full of Gas, Full of Problems: The Eastern Mediterranean’s Hydrocarbon Showdown

Source: nationalinterest.org

In October of last year, Russia, Israel and Cyprus conducted a joint naval exercise in waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Though scheduled well in advance, the timing of the drill could not have been more opportune for Cyprus; the Barbaros, a Turkish seismic vessel dispatched by Ankara in order to survey the sea floor for hydrocarbons, had just entered the bitterly contested Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between the two countries.

The affair triggered a flurry of diplomatic action. Israel called on Turkey to respect Cyprus’ right to explore for natural gas within its maritime boundaries, and Cyprus insisted that the vessel immediately withdraw. Not surprisingly, President Erdogan rebuffed these demands, and avowed that the Barbaroswould remain at sea until a distribution deal was reached for the riches beneath. Continue reading

Turkey’s Revisionism in the Eastern Mediterranean

Source: Today’s Zaman

Part I: Turkey in the Middle East: The Tacit Revisionist

In the previous article, it was argued that Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East “is obviously, yet tacitly, revisionist.” Specifically, examples such as the Syrian civil war were employed to highlight Turkey’s revisionist goals (i.e. regime change) and its efforts to rely on great powers (U.S. and NATO) in order to achieve them without getting too much involved.

Another region where one could observe a revisionist Turkish foreign policy behavior is the Eastern Mediterranean. There, Turkey is part of long-standing disputes which concern issues such as the delimitation of maritime borders, air-control spaces, and Muslim or Turkish minorities in Greece and Cyprus. More recently, Turkey has also had problems with Israel and Egypt. Continue reading

Turkey is Facing a Highly Uncertain Future

Source: Reuters

The Turkish presidential elections of August 10, 2014, bear great significance for the country’s future as well as for its domestic and foreign policies. This will be the first time that the Turkish people will directly elect the president of the Republic; something which, in conjunction with the constitutional reform process, signifies Turkey’s gradual shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

The main candidates are three. The current Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of Justice and Development Party (AKP); Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is supported by the two main opposition parties (Republican People’s Party and Nationalist Action Party), as well as by three smaller parties (Democratic Left Party, Independent Turkey Party, and Democratic Party). The third and with less chances candidate is Selahattin Demirtas, the co-president of the main pro-Kurdish party of Turkey, People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Continue reading

Turkey’s “Multi-Scenario” Foreign Policy

Abstract

Turkish foreign policy has always been a puzzling issue for both Western and non-Western scholars. Yet, the ascendance of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) to power in 2002 made things even more complicated as it signified the gradual break of a national ideological tradition and the emergence of a post-Kemalist, neo-Islamist, ideological framework. Despite the various existing explanations, analyses and interpretations of the AKP’s foreign policy, this paper seeks to contribute to this debate by employing a different (multi-scenario) approach. It assumes that the conduct of Turkish foreign policy is based on the existence of probable scenarios, often substitutionary to each other. If that is indeed the case, then Turkish foreign policy is conducted in an opportunistic way which lacks a specific Western or Eastern orientation, and aims at the maximization of benefits in different isolated issues thus diminishing the possibility of having a comprehensive grand strategy. Through this prism it is made clear that every important issue on Turkish foreign policy agenda plays a central role in its indecisiveness and leads de facto to a Multi-Scenario foreign policy.

Click to here to read the full peer-reviewed publication on the Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey.

Η «Μακαρισμένη» Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία και το «εκ γενετής» Δικαίωμα της Τουρκίας

Source: IHA

Εδώ και 15 περίπου μέρες γίνεται λόγος στα Μέσα Μαζικής Επικοινωνίας για το 105σελιδο έγγραφο, συσσυγγραφής Τούρκου ΥΠΕΞ Αχμέτ Νταβούτογλου και Υπουργού Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων Μεβλούτ Τσαβούσογλου, που κατατέθηκε στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση (ΕΕ) κατά την 52η  συνεδρία του Συμβούλιο Σύνδεσης Τουρκίας-ΕΕ, την 23η Ιουνίου 2014. Το επίμαχο σημείο του εγγράφου, που ξεσήκωσε αντιδράσεις, είναι ο χαρακτηρισμός της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας ως defunct («εκλιπούσα» ή αλλιώς… «μακαρισμένη» – περισσότερα πιο κάτω).

Και ενώ η είδηση έχει καλυφθεί από διάφορα Μέσα, σε επίπεδο πολιτικής τηρείται σχετική σιγή, πλην της αντίδρασης της Κύπριας ευρωβουλευτού, Ελένης Θεοχάρους, η οποία ήγειρε το θέμα στην Ολομέλεια του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου κατά την παράδοση της ελληνικής προεδρίας της ΕΕ στην Ιταλία. Εκεί, η ευρωβουλευτής είχε φέρει τον Έλληνα Πρωθυπουργό, Αντώνη Σαμαρά, και τον Έλληνα ΥΠΕΞ, Ευάγγελο Βενιζέλο, προ των ευθυνών τους σχετικά με την απραξία της Ελλάδας και της ελληνικής προεδρίας της ΕΕ για το συγκεκριμένο έγγραφο και το περιεχόμενό του. Γεγονός που έβαλε την Ελλάδα σε δύσκολη θέση και  εξόργισε, καθώς λέγεται, τον Έλληνα ΥΠΕΞ ο οποίος κινητοποίησε το ελληνικό ΥΠΕΞ στέλνοντας ρηματική διακοίνωση στο αντίστοιχο κυπριακό (περισσότερα εδώ και εδώ). Continue reading