Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turkey is playing games in the Mediterranean.

With the current economic crisis and the main focus of the European media and politicians on the Euro crisis and Greece, few are noticing what is going on in the South Eastern Mediterranean region.

The Republic of Cyprus and Israel are proceeding with their plans to exploit the huge reserve of natural gas found in the region, but Turkey is interfering with military presence, threats and displays of power.

The gas resources are clearly on Cypriot and Israeli waters, so Turkey should not have any objections to the exploitation by those two countries. Cyprus is a sovereign  nation, an E.U. state and has every right to make deals and cooperate with other countries to attract investments for the betterment of its economy. 

TheTurkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Bulent Arinc said on Euronews recently, "Turkey has interests in the region." All nations are very protective of them in their neighboring regions, so fair enough that Turkey is promoting theirs.What is very annoying is their pretense on the Cyprus dispute, blaming Greece and Cyprus for the current status quo in the region. Clearly when they openly try to meddle with Cypriot affairs, then they should be able to take some of the blame.

What it would be great one day to see, if Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and perhaps other Balkan and Middle Eastern countries cooperated in developing their resources. We could achieve so much if we did and stopped getting in the way of each others progress, or efforts for development and prosperity. 

Turkey should allow Greece and Cyprus to exploit their natural resources, if not assist them and perhaps even be part of the efforts. Because stable and rich neighbors, mean less problems for you and perhaps more opportunities for trade and development for yourself. By constantly being a bully in the region, you are only contributing to its instability and that can not be good for anyone in it.

Recently they are not just get into trouble with Israel, because of Cyprus and the Palestinian issue last year. They are also in the bad books of Russia who apparently is sending a fleet in the region, to protect their interests in Cyprus, over the Turkish ones. But also of America's, as t is an American company that will do the drilling in Cypriot waters and of course Europe, as Cyprus is an EU member state. 

They have even threatened to stop all negotiations with EU for the second half of 2012, because Cyprus holds the EU Presidency. Honestly what's the point in it and how can this make Turkey more appealing to Europe?

Perhaps Turkey after decades of waiting to join the European club, is losing interest and is promoting its own interests in the Middle Eastern region. By forging alliances and pushing their own political and military muscle, they are trying to become a major player in the regional and global political scene. Sometimes though overconfidence can be bad. If they lose the support of Europe, Israel and the USA they are getting exposed to major threats.

The Kurdish problem is still a reality and not all of their neighbors are friendly to them. They must remember that the European politicians are bound in a way by the European public opinion. If the public opinion is against Turkish EU membership, then they can not ignore their voters. So how all their recent actions are helping their image to the European populace? 

With their last few allies on European soil (Albania, FYROM and Kosovo) set to join EU and enter under European influence at some point in the future, to whom will they turn, Russia, Armenia, or Georgia? They are not that friendly to them and the Arab nations are not particularly so fond of them either. Their only secure ally in the region is Azerbaijan. 

But why must Turkey always remain a problem in the doorstep for Europe, that must be resolved or dealt with? They could be a stable and reliable partner that poses no threat to any of EU states, eventually perhaps becoming an EU state themselves.

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