Energy Alliance in a Turbulent Region:
The Implications of The East Med Gas Forum for Turkey and North Cyprus (TRNC)
Sea Power and Seaborne Energy Advisory Groups, Koç University Maritime Forum, Turkey
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Geopolitics of the eastern Mediterranean Sea is heightened in importance primarily due to issues related to maritime claims, access, and the quest for energy resources. Rights to demarcate, protect, and exploit Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are increasingly considered as significant aspects of sea power, strategy and security. In the light of recent hydrocarbon discoveries, a certain sense of disagreement has arisen among littoral states on how to equitably share the off-shore wealth, leading to formation of a U.S.-backed allied group named the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). Against the backdrop of this development, Turkey and North Cyprus (TRNC) increasingly find themselves isolated from the energy conundrum. This article seeks to examine the mounting instability in the eastern Mediterranean particularly with regards to rising energy geopolitics, alliance behavior, and challenges in monetization of the region’s recently discovered natural gas resources. By addressing a range of political, economic, and military insecurity issues related to offshore hydrocarbons, this research highlights possible emergent threats, challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities for related actors.