IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali
IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali
Home About us Research Publications Library Conferences Italiano
Search      Map      Print

Global Turkey in Europe


Can Eastern Mediterranean Gas Discoveries Have a Positive Impact on Turkey-EU Relations?

by Ayla Gürel and Fiona Mullen

GTE Policy Brief No. 12
18 March 2014
Pages 8

pdf.gif (151 byte) download (263 KB)


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", March 2014.

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 Cyprus problem.

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?

GTE papers - menu (en) Publications - menu
GTE Commentaries
GTE Policy Briefs
GTE Working Papers
GTE Question of the month