Monday, February 3, 2020
He was speaking ahead of visits to Rome, Malta and Algiers, and against the background of talks with non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, over the territorial dispute that has arisen between Greece and Turkey. The two countries have not been so close to confrontation since 1996: then, it was over the maritime border in the Aegean; now, the issue is access to East Mediterranean oil and gas deposits and Turkey's intervention in Libya.
- Turkey is using the Aegean migrant crisis to put pressure on Greece and the EU; it could be complicated by a worsening situation in Libya.
- Despite the government's large opinion-poll lead over the opposition, it has no room for manoeuvre on this issue.
- Turkey's lack of domestic energy sources is driving its claim to East Mediterranean hydrocarbon reserves, so far unsuccessfully.