Turkey-Greece Stand-off

  • IASbaba
  • August 21, 2020
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Turkey-Greece Stand-off

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – International Relations 

In News:

  • Recently, France has deployed its military in the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid tensions between Greece and Turkey over recently-discovered gas reserves in the region. 

Key takeaways 

  • The EU and its allies in West Asia and North Africa made plans to build a gas pipeline from the Mediterranean to Europe’s mainland to transport the gas.
  • The gas transport would help reduce the EU’s dependency on Russia.
  • However, they have kept Turkey out of it.
  • Turkey has challenged the EU pipeline project. 
  • It has reached an agreement with Libya to form an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from its southern shores to Libya’s northern coast across the Mediterranean.
  • Greece’s claims: 
    • Turkish zone violated its maritime sovereignty
    • It has announced its EEZ with Egypt, which clashed with Turkey’s zone.
  • As a reaction to the deal, Turkey has sent its survey ship near the island of Kastellorizo area. 
  • The area is mentioned in the Greece-Egypt agreement.
  • Over the past four decades, Greece and Turkey have gone to war at least three times.
  • They disagree over overlapping claims to hydrocarbon resources. 
  • Now, France, the EU’s most powerful military force, has thrown its weight behind Greece and Cyprus.
  • An alliance is also emerging among Greece, Cyprus, Italy and France, which is backed by Egypt, Israel and the UAE.
  • Turkey stands almost isolated, but remains a key power in the Mediterranean.

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