Tension between Turkey and other stakeholders over gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean

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Publication Date 2018-
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Summary:

Reports, analyses and information on the tension in the eastern Mediterranean as regional tension increases over gas drilling activities led by Turkey and Cyprus.

Further information:

Cypriot authorities announced on 11 February 2018 that Turkish military had obstructed a vessel contracted by oil company ENI to approach an area off the coast of Cyprus to conduct exploration activities for natural gas. The Turkish government framed the incident as an unilateral move by Greek Cypriots, which was in violation of the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots. However, the European Union (EU) urged Turkey to refrain from any 'threat' against Cyprus. Greece accused Turkish authorities of violating international law and condemned the country's 'provocative conduct'. Later, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the sovereign rights of Turkish Cypriots and warned Cyprus not to 'overstep the mark' in the eastern Mediterranean.

Amid increasing drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean led by Turkey in 2019, the Council of the European Union held several discussions and adopted a series of conclusions condemning such actions and expressing solidarity with Cyprus and Greece. The European Council also urged Turkey to respect the Cypriot right to exploiting its natural resources, in both March 2019 and June 2019. On 11 November, the Council of the European Union adopted a framework for sanctions in response to Turkey's drilling activities in the region.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: Cyprus–Turkey maritime zones dispute https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus%E2%80%93Turkey_maritime_zones_dispute
Kathimerini, 13/02/2018: Dangerous moves by Turkey http://www.ekathimerini.com/225771/opinion/ekathimerini/comment/dangerous-moves-by-turkey
The Conversation, 28/02/2018: Scramble for gas in eastern Mediterranean is stoking old tensions in the region https://theconversation.com/scramble-for-gas-in-eastern-mediterranean-is-stoking-old-tensions-in-the-region-92070
Foreign Policy, 28/05/2019: Gas for Peace https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/28/gas-for-peace/
Deutsche Welle, 16/07/2019: Turkey, Cyprus and gas deposits: What you need to know https://p.dw.com/p/3MAp5
Euro|topics, July 2019: Gas off Cyprus: EU imposes sanctions against Ankara https://www.eurotopics.net/en/223360/
Foreign Policy, 25/07/2019: Turkey’s Big Energy Grab https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/25/turkeys-big-energy-grab-cyprus-gas-aphrodite-calypso-eni-exxon/
TRT World, 13/11/2019: European Union sanctions against Turkey are an obstacle to peace https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/european-union-sanctions-against-turkey-are-an-obstacle-to-peace-31334

News
Euronews, 11/02/2018: Tension between Turkey and Cyprus over gas search http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/11/tension-between-turkey-and-cyprus-over-gas-search
Hürriyet Daily News, 11/02/2018: Turkey slams Greek Cyprus over gas drilling works as tensions increase in eastern Mediterranean http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-greek-cyprus-over-gas-drilling-works-as-tensions-increase-in-eastern-mediterranean-127132
EUObserver, 12/02/2018: EU warns Turkey over 'threat' to Cyprus https://euobserver.com/foreign/140954
EurActiv, 13/02/2018: EU warns Turkey over Cyprus ship incident https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/eu-warns-turkey-over-cyprus-ship-incident/
Hürriyet Daily News, 13/02/2018: Greek Cyprus should not 'overstep mark' in eastern Mediterranean http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/greek-cyprus-should-not-overstep-mark-in-eastern-mediterranean-127245
Reuters, 13/02/2018: Erdogan tells Cyprus not to test Turkey over gas standoff https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1FX0XZ
Deutsche Welle, 13/02/2018: Turkish warships block drilling rig near Cyprus http://p.dw.com/p/2sZiO
Kathimerini, 13/02/2018: Turkish actions off Imia islets raise the stakes http://www.ekathimerini.com/225810/article/ekathimerini/news/turkish-actions-off-imia-islets-raise-the-stakes
Kathimerini, 13/02/2018: Athens accuses Ankara of fueling tension in the region http://www.ekathimerini.com/225785/article/ekathimerini/news/athens-accuses-ankara-of-fueling-tension-in-the-region
Cyprus Mail, 14/02/2018: Cyprus solution would resolve dispute says UNSG http://cyprus-mail.com/2018/02/14/cyprus-solution-resolve-dispute-says-unsg/
Euro|topics, February 2018: Ankara blocks gas drilling off Cyprus's coast https://www.eurotopics.net/en/194337/
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 20/03/2018: Gas and Gunboats Around Cyprus http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/?fa=75838
Euronews, 13/05/2019: Tensions mount over Turkey’s drilling off Cyprus https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/tensions-mount-over-turkeys-drilling-off-cyprus/
The Guardian, 20/05/2019: Turkey insists on right to drill for energy reserves off Cyprus https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/turkey-insists-on-right-to-drill-for-energy-reserves-off-cyprus
The Guardian, 18/06/2019: Greece and Cyprus call on EU to punish Turkey in drilling dispute https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/18/greece-and-cyprus-call-on-eu-to-punish-turkey-in-drilling-dispute
Euronews, 19/06/2019: EU warns Turkey over ‘illegal’ drilling off Cyprus https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-warns-turkey-over-illegal-drilling-off-cyprus/
EurActiv, 21/06/2019: EU ‘in full solidarity’ with Cyprus over Turkey drilling https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-in-full-solidarity-with-cyprus-over-turkey-drilling/
BBC News, 21/06/2019: EU warns Turkey of sanctions for Cyprus drilling https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48718272
Reuters, 10/07/2019: Turkey rejects Greek, EU claims that drilling off Cyprus illegitimate https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1U50ME
The Guardian, 11/07/2019: Turkey rejects claims it is drilling illegally for gas off Cyprus https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/11/turkey-rejects-claims-drilling-illegally-gas-off-cyprus
Politico: 12/07/2019: EU draws up measures against Turkey over Cyprus drilling https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-draws-up-measures-against-turkey-over-cyprus-drilling-oil-gas-mediterranean/
Deutsche Welle, 14/07/2019: Turkey urges Greek Cypriots to accept oil drilling plan https://p.dw.com/p/3M3rc
Cyprus Mail, 16/07/2019: Cavusoglu: no need to take EU measures seriously, Turkey sending fourth ship https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/07/16/turkey-says-eu-decisions-will-not-affect-its-energy-activities-off-cyprus/
Euronews, 16/07/2019: EU sanctions Turkey for drilling off the coast of Cyprus https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/16/eu-sanctions-turkey-for-drilling-off-the-coast-of-cyprus
Hürriyet Daily News, 16/07/2019: Turkey to send fourth ship to East Med, despite EU sanctions decision http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-send-fourth-ship-to-east-med-despite-eu-sanctions-decision-145005
Reuters, 07/08/2019: Turkey says drill ships continue work in eastern Mediterranean, another en route https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1UX123
BBC News, 08/08/2019: Turkey ramps up drilling off Cyprus on eve of peace talks https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49275949
TRT World, 11/08/2019: Turkey defends right to drill in Mediterranean, 'without any hesitation' https://www.trtworld.com/turkey/turkey-defends-right-to-drill-in-mediterranean-without-any-hesitation-28931/
Deutsche Welle, 04/10/2019: Cyprus slams Turkey's latest gas drilling bid as 'severe escalation' https://p.dw.com/p/3Qiw6
Reuters, 04/10/2019: Tensions grow as Cyprus says Turkish drilling ship violates its rights https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1WJ0HQ
EurActiv, 07/10/2019: US warns Turkey over offshore drilling near Cyprus https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/us-warns-turkey-over-offshore-drilling-near-cyprus/
Deutsche Welle, 11/11/2019: EU targets Turkey's oil drilling off Cyprus coast https://p.dw.com/p/3SpXc
Reuters, 11/11/2019: EU agrees sanctions on Turkey over Cyprus drilling, to add names later https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1XL1XI
Cyprus Mail, 11/11/2019: EU FMs set to adopt measures against illegal Turkish drilling https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/11/11/eu-fms-set-to-adopt-measures-against-illegal-turkish-drilling/
EurActiv, 12/11/2019: EU takes step closer to Turkey drilling sanctions https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-takes-step-closer-to-turkey-drilling-sanctions/

Official
Council of the European Union, 15/07/2019: Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Council adopts conclusions https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/07/15/turkish-drilling-activities-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-council-adopts-conclusions/
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 14/10/2019: Turkey's illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Council adopts conclusions https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/10/14/council-conclusions-on-turkey-s-illegal-drilling-activities-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 11/11/2019: Turkey's illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Council adopts framework for sanctions https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/11/11/turkey-s-illegal-drilling-activities-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-council-adopts-framework-for-sanctions/

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