Eastern Mediterranean gas should pass through Turkish Cyprus: Tatar
The Turkish Cypriot leader has said if gas in the eastern Mediterranean offshore is to be extracted, it should pass through the north of the divided island, as new alternatives are on the agenda for gas supply to Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Ersin Tatar said that Israel and Egypt gas, which came to the agenda in Europe’s search for an alternative to Russian gas, had to pass through the maritime jurisdictions of Turkish Cyprus, stressing that this would have a positive impact on the status of his country.
Pointing out that there have been important developments due to Europe’s dependence on Russia in energy, Tatar reminded that EastMed, a 1,900-kilometer pipeline project which aimed to carry the gas to Europe bypassing both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus, was completely shelved.
“If natural gas is to be brought to the EU from Israel, Egypt and that region, it is much easier to get it through Cyprus. The distance between Cyprus and Turkey is only 65 kilometers,” Tatar said.
“[Such a route] necessarily passes through the maritime jurisdiction of Turkish Cyprus,” the politician said, adding that such a gas line would inevitably give status to his country.
Stating that it would be better if the said energy route touches the Karpaz Cape of the island as it will bring new investments to the region, Tatar pointed out that Turkish Cyprus will “definitely be involved in the project” even if it does not pass through Karpaz.
Pointing to the importance of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s reference to Turkish Cyprus, Tatar drew attention to the fact that his country’s position is much different from the separatist entities in Ukraine.