There will be something anachronistic in regards to the conflict which brewing in eastern mediterranean. at worldwide seminars, world leaders worry the requirement to go beyond fossil fuels. however they nonetheless appear prepared to risk war to achieve control over new types of gas and oil.

Turkey has actually established intends to keep checking out for gasoline off the shore of cyprus. the eu has over repeatedly known as on ankara to abandon these programs, arguing the research is unlawful given that it violates the unique financial area of cyprus an eu member condition. greece has informed of feasible conflict. and france has launched that it will enhance its armed forces presence in the region.

Current rise in tensions occurs up against the background of turkish military input in syria and libya. the reality that ankara has succeeded in turning the wave in libya might have given recep tayyip erdogan, the turkish president, the self-confidence to push much harder into the east mediterranean. it has also alarmed the french federal government, which has supported an alternate side when you look at the libyan dispute. the french and turkish navies virtually clashed from the shore of libya in summer.

Coping with the existing crisis requires both diplomatic and strategic difficulties. the instant diplomatic task is to defuse the conflict. the wider geopolitical challenge for eu is to fit plan towards the east mediterranean into a wider strategy towards turkey, plus the growth of a common power policy.

Regarding diplomatic front, objective must be to attain an improved relationship with turkey without granting mr erdogan a free hand. the turkish frontrunner is volatile and ready to just take dangers. but he also has a shrewd understanding of this stability of power and will be pragmatic if required.

Despite the fact that turkish and russian troops are on opposite edges both in the syrian and libyan conflicts, mr erdogan features was able to keep an operating relationship with president vladimir putin of russia. he's currently signalled that he is willing to talk about the eastern mediterranean with the eu and can even believe that he would get into any speaks with powerful cards to play not least the eus reliance on turkey to handle the movement of refugees from syria.

The turkish leaders wary management of russia reveals that he respects strength so it is practical for the french and others to demonstrate their determination to deploy military power. but the long-lasting objective ought to be to resolve the dispute over drilling legal rights through speaks which will undoubtedly include trade-offs. over time, both the eu and turkey have way too much on the line to sacrifice their relationship over a dispute about gas reserves. the fact that france, greece, and chicken are all members of the nato alliance additionally helps it be both more immediate plus practical to control their particular conflicting interests.

Given the increasing urgency of coping with climate modification, many in eu will argue any brand-new gasoline reserves should remain in ocean. there was small question that an eu power strategy should give attention to accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels. but gas is less polluting than coal which the eu nevertheless uses greatly. gas can still be the cause, included in a transition to cleaner types of energy. and supplies through the mediterranean would provide a substitute for over-reliance on russia.

For that reason alone, the eu cannot simply shrug its arms and give chicken a totally free hand to look for power inside eastern mediterranean. it is a disagreement that can't be averted. nonetheless it can and really should be managed.

Letter in response for this editorial:

Ankaras blue homeland ambition irks neighbours / from stephen capsaskis, athens, greece