Turkey’s “Second Invasion” of Cyprus: Illegal drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean

In a recent article, featured in gatestoneinstitute.org, analyst Uzay Bulut notes that Turkish aggression in the East Med, against the Republic of Cyprus’ international and sovereign rights, especially vis-a-vis drilling is tantamount to a “Second Invasion” of Cyprus.

Some of the key points in the article:

“Although Turkey has been violating Cyprus’s sovereignty since 1974, the current highly volatile internal political and economic situation in Turkey has made the Turkish government get even more aggressive in the eastern Mediterranean…. For Mr. Erdogan’s plans to succeed, Cyprus needs to be eliminated.” — Harris Samaras, an expert on the Cypriot EEZ and chairman of the international investment banking firm Pytheas.

“Mr. Erdogan is aware that it will be impossible for Turkey to achieve its goals of regional hegemony if US interests in particular, but also French ones, develop a firm foothold in Cyprus. This is his biggest fear.” — Harris Samaras.

“The East Med Pipeline, then — which has been started with the blessing of the US — is of the utmost importance. At the last trilateral meeting of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was present and supported the project. If it goes ahead, it will be a major slap in the face for Turkey’s energy plans.” — Harris Samaras.

“Concrete steps should be taken to stop Turkish violations against Cyprus’s EEZ. Sanctions should be imposed at the level of the European Council to the persons and companies responsible for the drilling. All pre-accession funds to Turkey should be blocked, and Turkish access to loans by the European Investment Bank should be eliminated. Additional options, if Turkey escalates the situation further, are imposing sanctions on Turkey’s banking sector and freezing the accession process altogether. The US also needs to lift the irrational arms embargo it imposed on the Republic of Cyprus in 1987, and help it to rearm and modernize its ability to defend itself, while keeping the UN peace keeping mission (UNFICYP) intact.” — Theodoros Tsakiris, assistant professor of energy policy and geopolitics at the University of Nicosia.

Read the rest of this hard-hitting article here.