By Micha’el Tanchum (vol. 7, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
In late December 2013, Turkey took a major step in altering the naval balance in the eastern Mediterranean by contracting the construction of a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship that can function as an aircraft carrier, potentially providing Turkey an unprecedented measure of sea control in the region. The heightened threat perception for Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will impact the imminent decision whether Israel will export its natural gas to a planned Cypriot LNG terminal with a European export route through Greece or build a subsea pipeline to Turkey. Turkey’s next diplomatic moves could make the difference between a comprehensive regional agreement for a Turkish export route for eastern Mediterranean off-shore energy or a naval arms race which Turkey economically cannot win.
by Dr. Ozan Serdaroğlu (vol. 6 no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
There may finally be ground for a resolution of the Cyprus conflict, as the Turkish government may be ready to cut the knotted puzzle instead of spending time to solve it. The political disunity in Turkish northern Cyprus, the economic calamity in Greek Cyprus and the exploration of rich energy resources in Cypriot territorial waters have enlarged Turkey’s room of maneuver, encouraging the Turkish government to pursue a Cyprus policy that is no longer focused on a scenario of reunification. Ankara has come to view the future of Cyprus in a broader Eastern Mediterranean perspective. Turkey does not seek diplomatic success over the “Cyprus case”. It is running after bigger spoils, but to be successful, Ankara will have to entice the Greek Cypriots to embrace a similarly pragmatic approach.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.