Hela havet stormar: Gränstvister, nationalism och energipolitik i östra Medelhavet


  • Aron Lund

Publish date: 2020-12-16

Report number: FOI Memo 7438

Pages: 10

Written in: Swedish


  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Cyprus
  • Mediterranean
  • energy
  • law of the sea
  • EMGF


For roughly a year, the eastern Mediterranean has been the scene of rising tensions between, on the one hand, Turkey, and, on the other, Greece and Cyprus supported by the European Union, Egypt, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates. The government in Ankara has repeatedly dispatched war ships and research vessels to disputed sea regions to drill for natural gas and challenge its regional rivals. It is a troubling situation for the European Union, which is divided on how to respond to Turkey's advances, and for NATO, which risks being paralysed by Turkish-Greek disunity. The current crisis derives from three interlinked areas of dispute: long-established maritime conflicts between Turkey and its neighbours, including the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus; an increasingly belligerent Turkish foreign policy, with recent interventions in Syria and Libya; and the discovery of considerable natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean during the 2010s. In this briefing, Aron Lund, an analyst with FOI's Asia- and Middle East Program, offers a description of the background of the crisis and the drivers of Turkish strategy.