Turkey, Greece and Cyprus are embroiled in a war of words that is quickly escalating to shows of military strength. What is the source of their acrimony? As with many global disputes, the countries are squaring up to each other over access to natural resources, namely potential gas and oil deposits under the seabed of the Mediterranean. Tensions in Eastern Mediterranean are nothing new, with NATO allies and neighbours Greece and Turkey coming to the brink of war over a range of issues on no less than three occasions since the 1970s. Competing efforts over drilling rights in a region, which has seen a boom in oil and gas extraction in the last decade, are just the latest in a string of disputes going back four decades. “Illegal gunboat diplomacy” So, what’s happened? Turkey first sent a drilling ship to the Mediterranean in May 2019 where it carried out seismic surveys and exploratory drilling off the north coast of Cyprus, leading the island nation to condemn what it sees as illegal. In response, the EU sanctioned Turkey in July 2019 , reducing pre-accession financial assistance to the country for 2020 by €145.8 million and halting high-level bilateral talks. Having been… Read full this story
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