Navigating the East Med Gas Dilemma: Prospects for Resolution between Turkey and Greece

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This webinar has been planned by Tactics Institute in partnership with IR101 to highlight the complex geopolitical and energy dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean and explore whether Turkey and Greece can reconcile their differences in order to solve the East Med Gas Gordian Knot. The resolution process might manage to serve as an example of for further diplomatic activities, prospective routes, and collaboration between the two nations.

Maria Simaioforidou, Creator and Editor in Chief IR101.

Dr. Angelos Kaskanis. Policy Advisor. Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism.

Indeed Greece has sought to strengthen alliances with neighboring countries, but also countries from thw Gulf such as Emiratis and the Saudis. I believe it is wrong to look upon strengthening ties with an agenda of weakening others. The whole East Med dispute, that is not just Gas, needs an overal solution, a win to win for all sides, that can stay sustainable in the future.
Greece has a traditional alliance with Cyprus and shares a strategic alliance with Israel and Egypt. The last two of them are of crucial importance for the Greek State, from every aspect. Security, diplomacy, history, culture, and a common future I believe. Greeks believe a lot in these alliances and would hurt the public opinion if they did not work out.
They also share arms contracts and agreements on sharing technology, which is also very important for the regional stability. Hopefully Turkey could enter the same alliance, benefit from the dialogue in the long turn.

Prof. Efraim Inbar. President. Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.
Tyrkey can take care its own interests. Has everyone but at the same time nobody as an ally. Turkeys is a strong actor to deal with, it has a strong leader, does not care a lot of how is viewed in the West. Turkey has several issues with its neighbors and Germany/US. Erdogan pursuits his own policy and he seems in a good position domestically. Actually some of the clashes he has with outsiders increses his popularity.

Israel’s relations with Greece and Cyprus are extremely useful for the country. And that is mostly a result of Ankara’s push, for us to make a choice. Since Turkey was hostile to Israel for a number of matters, in recent periods of Erdogan rule, I would say that Israel is even lucky to have Greece and Cyprus. Nowadays our two countries relations are improving and this is not at the expense of previous alliances which is great.

Dr. Nasuh Sofuoglu. Researcher. Recep Tayyip Erdogan University.

Turkey is a gas transit country, but also means to become an energy hub, which is ambituous but possible. Ankara also claims to close gas and petroleum materials delas with the East more easily, and looks on developing its own position in the market, in the country’s terms. On the Cyprus issue, it wants all the gas that is benefiting the Greek-Cypriot side to be equally distributed to the Turk-Cypriots too. It is a major issues for Turkey. And that adds political and diplomatic pressure to all the East Med.
Turkey’s is not Islamist today, it started way before the fifties, and also we should not mix westernizations with secularization. I would say religion plays an important role in how Turkey projects itself today in all its political aspects. Turkey would like to have less conflict and less publicity in the region, and resolve its issues legally. The Islamist approach is the peaceful aproach I believe and I see with a positive eye the relations. Cause there is no other way.

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