Dr. Yiannos Charalambides
Oil and gas constitute sources of energy and, by extension, power. However, the question is whether oil and gas constitute raw materials, utilized only for prosperity, development and stability or they may turn into a source of friction and thereby become fuel for conflict. There is already reliable and concrete evidence, stemming from relevant research, showing that the Southeastern Mediterranean Sea lies on huge reserves of gas and probably oil. Israel and Cyprus undertook their own surveys within their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (Reuters 2011, Daljecom 2009)1. The first phase of these explorations was successfully accomplished. Both countries announced their intention to exploit their natural resources, especially in the neighboring “block 12”, “Leviathan” and “Tamar”2 (Noble Energy 2011, LNG World News 2011, Barkat 2010, Shemer 2011, Cooper 2010, Oil in Israel 2009)3. In this respect, a new geopolitical environment seems to have come into being. Currently, the relevant question is whether there is fertile ground for the shaping of a new geopolitical map through the establishment of a coalition between Israel and Cyprus, including, probably, other states. South Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East constitute sensitive geostrategic and geo-economic areas where conflicting and converging national interests are met. Israel is not the only regional power. Turkey has always intended to play a leading regional role. Therefore, a new geopolitical evolution should be seen through the lens of the Turkish foreign policy and national interests. Such a foreign policy is in line with the Turkish strategic goal, which predicts the consolidation of Ankara’s dominant presence in a regional level.