ENERGY > Energy resources to maintain peace in Eastern Mediterranean: Turkish president

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Newly found energy resources in the East Mediterranean have the potential to contribute a great deal on the road to maintaining regional peace

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Turkish President Abdullah Gül. AA photo

Turkish President Abdullah Gül. AA photo

Sevim Songün Demirezen Sevim Songün Demirezen sevim.songun@hurriyet.com.tr

The newly discovered energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean could contribute a great deal on the road to resolving the political problems in the region, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said May 10 at a conference in Istanbul.

“I believe any projects regarding energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean should involve all the countries in the region, including Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, all parts of the island of Cyprus and Turkey… to resolve political problems,” he said at the opening ceremony of the 4th Annual Energy Forum organized by Sabancı University’s Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC).

There is now considerable evidence showing more than 3 trillion cubic meters of gas are in the Eastern Mediterranean. “This makes Turkey more important within the global energy map because Turkey has a long coastline and exclusive [economic] area in the Mediterranean. I have always believed that possible economic cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean could enable all people in the region to live more prosperously and to resolve political problems there,” he said.

“Turkish Cypriots also have a right to the discovered energy resources off the Cyprus coastline. Economics could be the main instrument to resolve the existing political problems in the region and a new economic cooperation mission could be established in the Eastern Mediterranean, which could be under the framework of the European Union,” Gül said.

Gül also said some of the energy resources of Iraq could be distributed to Turkey and to Europe – through Turkey – via new oil and gas pipelines that could be built in parallel to the existing northern and southern energy routes of Iraq.

Iraqi oil and gas to EU via Turkey

“This will be a good starting point for Iraq to be able to access secure markets and to be a secure supplier,” Gül said.

Iraq produces 2.7 million barrels of oil per day currently. This amount could increase to 6 million or 7 million barrels, bringing $300 billion yearly revenue, according to Turkish Energy Ministry estimates. “Turkey will make the biggest contribution here as the 68-kilometer Persian Gulf is not enough to carry such a big capacity. There is nothing more normal than for Iraq to normalize. Turkey will continue to make positive contributions to this process,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said at the same conference. Yıldız noted that Turkey took many projects worth around $25 billion in southern Iraq and the Turkish Petroleum Co (TPAO) will invest in $5 billion to 5.5 billion there. “The northern part of Iraq is quite available to invest in as well. All these are projects will contribute to Iraq’s normalization,” said Yıldız.


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cemal ahmet

5/13/2013 8:23:47 PM

The Mediterranean Sea is unique case due to geographical characteristics and some conflicts already existed on maritime delimitations among some nations. It’s a matter of fact that; all States will have to reach agreement, regarding proclamations of the delimitation of the EEZ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Equitable and reasonable principals and solutions are needed for the delimitation of maritime areas.Mediterranean Sea is important issue for several reasons for the bordering nations.

cemal ahmet

5/13/2013 7:16:22 PM

In light of the fact that it would also be impossible to persuade anyone that Cyprus should not exploit the resources of its EEZ at a time of economic crisis when it is fully recognized both by the UN and the EU..GC-EEZ agreed and delimited to boundaries with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel in accordance with internationally accepted procedures and the 1982 convention has received such worldwide acceptance that it has become part of international customary law which is binding on all states..

cemal ahmet

5/13/2013 6:41:15 PM

In retaliation to the explorative drilling carried out in GC-EEZ, Turkey & KKTC signed an agreement delineating a boundary between them based on a number of agreed coordinates dividing the continental shelf appurtenant to each.Unlike the continental shelf, the right to an EEZ has to be claimed. In the Mediterranean, many states have not claimed such zones owing to the fact that it is geographically impossible to claim the full 200 miles without the consent of other states.

cemal ahmet

5/13/2013 6:11:11 PM

Guys,very poorly worded journalism,completely wrong translation.I already have his full speech in Turkish and during his speech he never used such a word "exclusive area".in 2004 Cyprus claimed its EEZ in accordance with the 1982 Convention which it had ratified. Turkey has not ratified the 1982 Convention and has not claimed its own EEZ but, seemingly, claims the freedom of the high seas and towards the end of 1986 it declared its own EEZ in the Black Sea not in the East Med.ANOTHER MEDIA SCAM


5/13/2013 1:49:59 PM

Pawel Bury, EU has adopted the UNCLOS to make it part of the EU law. This doesn't change the fact that it is up to individual countries to agree their EEZ with their neighbours. EU will obviously support Greece, but it is up to Greece to negotiate with Turkey, not EU. As for going to court, Greece doesn't want that either. Why doesn't Greece lodge a claim against Turkey at the ICJ? Greece can do that on its own but chooses not to, for fear of losing (same reason why Turkey doesn't do it).

Pawel Bury

5/13/2013 12:19:18 PM

@Baris, so why do you thin EU has signed it for if not for defending it? Greeks were smart enough to drag EU into this because they already know that Turkey doesn't want to take the dispute into international courts. Turkey doesn't want to go to international court with Greeks for the 6-12 miles dispute and the same goes for the UNCLOS-EEZ issue. Everybody understands why. So to sum up, if you're a country's president, you have to be more careful with these kind of statements.


5/13/2013 12:22:56 AM

Pawel Bury, it is a Gr-Tr issue. Greece is a sovereign country and it is up to her to define her EEZ. EU as a union adopted the UNCLOS but will not negotiate the EEZ of its members. That's why Cyprus signed the agreement with Israel and Cyprus is negotiating with Lebanon, not EU. EEZ does need negotiation. UNCLOS defines a set of rules but leaves it up to individual countries to work out the details with their neighbours. Those maps can't be official since the Gr-Tr EEZ has not been established.

Pawel Bury

5/12/2013 6:46:44 PM

Baris, this is not a GR-TR issue. Since EU as an entity has signed UNCLOS, it's an EU-TR issue. It's neither an issue that needs negotiations between two countries. It's an issue fully covered by international law. That means if they don't agree, an international court will solve the problem. There are official maps on the internet, not Greek nor Turkish. Check them out.


5/12/2013 3:36:03 PM

Pawel Bury, I agree that location of Kastellorizon may mean Turkey's EEZ is considerably reduced, but "almost no EEZ" is a touch on the extreme. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the maps on the internet, because none of them are true regarding Tr-GR. Defining EEZs is a process of negotiations and arbitration. As far as I know, neither country have claimed an EEZ yet, and it looks like negotiations are non existent. Until Tr-Gr agree to EEZ, statements like "almost no EEZ" are meaningless

Cyprus Refugee

5/11/2013 1:53:15 PM

Sounds to me like Mr Gul found energy resources a stone throw away from his coastline? Because that is all his is entitled to. Congrats Sir. Maybe all the countries of the region can share it so we are all happy together!
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