Document prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation
project "Turkey, Europe and the World",
Any significant improvement in Turkey-EU relations depends on a solution to the
Cyprus problem. A Cyprus settlement would allow the transfer of Eastern
Mediterranean gas to the EU via Turkey, thus increasing Turkey’s strategic
significance for the EU as a key gas transit country for Europe's gas supplies.
More critically, it would clear the way for meaningful progress in Turkey's EU
accession process, which has been stalled because many chapters are being
blocked for reasons related to the Cyprus problem. To date, gas found offshore
Cyprus has made such a settlement more difficult by deepening the parties'
divisions over sovereignty and has thus become an impediment to progress in
Turkey-EU relations. Yet, there is a way in which the gas discovered in the
Eastern Mediterranean – Israel as well as Cyprus – could conceivably help
Turkey-EU relations: namely, a gas-cooperation scenario involving Israel, Cyprus
and Turkey that offers strong enough incentives for all parties to solve the
Natural gas | Cyprus | Israel | Turkey | EU enlargement | European Union
Ayla Gürel is Senior Research Consultant at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Cyprus Centre.
Fiona Mullen is Director of Sapienta Economics, Cyprus.
1. Turkey's Role as a Transit State for Gas Supplies to the EU
2. Turkey's EU Accession Process
3. The Need to Solve the Cyprus Problem
4. Impact of Cyprus Gas on Efforts to Solve the Cyprus Problem: The Sovereignty Question
5. Why Cyprus Gas Alone Is Not a Strong Enough Incentive
6. Can Gas from Cyprus and Israel Provide the Motivation?
7. Will Recent Developments Change the Parties' Calculations?