Rigs in the Leviathan gas prospect off the coast of Israel, in an undated photo provided to The Times of Israel. (Albatross Aerial Photography
Turkey’s regional scheming and meddling everywhere from Cyprus and Syria to Libya is about one overriding thing: Israeli gas.
If Israel, Greece and Cyprus make good on plans to build an underwater pipeline to carry Israel’s massive Levant Basin gas finds to Europe, then Turkey will lose any chance to make good on Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman dreams of regional power.
That is why Turkey is meddling in Syria (which also has a chunk of the Levant Basin to explore), and why it’s stepped into the fire in Libya with the Government of National Accord, signing a new deal to carve up maritime borders to the detriment of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. It’s also why Erdogan is interfering in offshore drilling territory in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
Turkey (meaning, Erdogan) has made a collection of bad policy choices over the years, and those choices have essentially left it out of all the riches the Mediterranean has to offer. Erdogan has, on his own, backed the country into a corner. As a result, the number of key countries poised to gain from the oil and gas riches of the Mediterranean are leaving Turkey out of the equation.