MED ENERGY WARS: UK Foreign Office slumbers on as Israel/Turkey showdown grows ever nearer.

If you still can’t see the geopolitics behind all this, go see an optician.


Wannabe EU Member Recep Erdogan

As the Aegean/Mediterranean drilling disputes, elections, financial problems and land-grabs gather pace, The Slog makes sense of the jigsaw now revealing a darker and darker picture of potential conflict.

Veteran Sloggers are well aware of Erdogan The Mad: Turkish leader, free-speech crusher, Kurd-basher, Holocaust denier, energy thief, and best friend of Iran and David Cameron at one and the same time.

They’ll also know from earlier in the week that, ignoring existing territorial waters ratified by the UN, Rabid Recep and his Erratic Engineers have plonked a drilling derrick right next to Cyprus (having earlier this year threatened to annex it) and got right down to the task of tapping into other people’s oil.

Now the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying Greek media reports that a Turkish Petroleum Company is carrying out oil exploratory works along the Greek continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea.

Still, at least this area is disputed….a first for Turkish ideas about sovereignty. The continental shelf row stems from the absence of a delimitation agreement effected between the two countries and ‘has a bearing on the overall equilibrium of rights and interests in the Aegean’, as it concerns areas only hazily attributed beyond the 6 mile territorial sea.

It’s a smart tactic by Erdogan this one: deny you’re up to anything where you have the right to be, as a distraction to the fact that you’re ploughing ahead in places where you don’t have a right in Hell to be. Thus there are now serious concerns among the Greek diplomatic community following an official announcement in the Turkish Government Gazette asking for tenders to explore areas in the Aegean Sea which are in the Exclusive Greek Economic Zone (EGEZ).

Personally, I think the UK should start drilling in Dublin Bay. I’m sure the Taioseach would understand entirely.

This is really just Turkish diplomacy moving into the third stage of challenging the status quo in the Aegean Sea. Using an obvious parallel, Recep Erdogan had his march into the Rhineland moment with Cyprus, and drilling thereof. Now he’s trying to engineer an Anschluss.

Media reports earlier said a standoff ensued when a Greek gunboat was dispatched to the EGEZ area, where a Norwegian ship was prospecting for oil in the southeastern Aegean escorted by Turkish frigate the Gediz.

The continental shelf issue has in the past led to tensions between Turkey and Greece. Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said that the determination of Turkey to move ahead with this venture – and license petroleum activities in areas south of Rhodes and Kastelorizo – was contrary to the rules regarding international waters. He underlined that Ankara cannot “undermine sovereign rights and powers of Greece, based on international law”, and promptly summoned the Norwegian Ambassador for a serious dressing down.

A spokesman said that the Greek Foreign ministry “will take all necessary steps to safeguard and defend the sovereign rights of Greece”, but as I’ve posted several times recently, there are bigger sharks hunting in these murky diplomatic waters.

The Franco-German sales of weaponry to Greece since 2009 have been enormous (even if you don’t count the bribes involved) while the Americans retain a crucial interest in the energy and rare-earth deposits now known to exist in profusion in the Med/Aegean region…hence their plan to isolate and then befriend Greece. Clearly, both the White House and the Berlin Chancellery sorry the Brussels Commission plan to defend what they’ve opportunistically lucked into.

But US ally Israel also wishes to glue its destiny firmly to the ClubMed EU States – especially Greece and Cyprus – while the EU’s mad poppinjays are busy trying to recruit new North African members. (Except, of course, that being profoundly dumb, they also believe that sworn Israel enemy Turkey can somehow be included in this happy union without a serious punch-up ensuing at the wedding reception).

So you can see where all this leading. And oil isn’t the only energy-tie we’re talking about here.

PPC Quantum Energy S.A., a subsidiary of electricity giant Public Power Corporation, this week formally announced the launch of the construction of a 2,000-megawatt undersea electricity cable to link up the electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece. The company has notified the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) and CERA, the corresponding authority in Cyprus, over the «EuroAsia Interconnector» project.

In a joint letter to the company, both authorities underlined that the implementation of such an ambitious project will decisively contribute to ensure the safety of power supply for the entire region of SE Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. (Cast your minds back to the Russian insistence on attendance to monitor the May 6th Greek General Election…all of a sudden that makes sense too).

This is a vast construction task being undertaken at an eye-watering cost. The total length of the undersea cable will be 1,000 kilometers, making it the world’s biggest. It will be placed as deep as 2,000 meters from the surface at some points.The project will be completed within three years and cost some 1.5 billion euros, with the participation of PPC’s Israeli counterpart.

Naturally in these straitened times, things are a little unclear on the question of who’s paying for it. Israel coughed up some serious money for the original geological survey about oil and minerals. Being Israel, it will pay its fair share for this idea to become a reality. But Brussels, Berlin and Washington? Sadly dear reader, I know not. Yet.

It does however bring into sharper and sharper relief, does it not, why America wants Greece to default, but the Germans sorry sorry Europeans don’t. As ever, this is a war in the making…and energy is the cause of it.

Well, they laughed when I told them that Washington and Berlin had fallen out over Greek amputation from the eurozone. They laughed when I told them Erdogan was a trouble-making Islamist headcase.

Are they laughing now, I wonder. And in the Foreign Office, is anyone awake? Sorry, silly question.

Falklands War anyone?

The quickest way to catch up on this saga is to type ‘Recep Erdogan’ into The Search box top right from here

41 thoughts on “MED ENERGY WARS: UK Foreign Office slumbers on as Israel/Turkey showdown grows ever nearer.

  1. Personally, I think the UK should start drilling in Dublin Bay. I’m sure the Taioseach would understand entirely

    He’d register a protest and then (if we found anything) claim under what is the proper legal name for squatting


  2. The way of all bullies is to pusha and push until someone pushes back. What would the state of the world have been if the French had had the bottle to stand their groundin the Rhur? Maybe we would not have had Israel as a state and a lot lot less misey in Europe.
    The Turks have their problems and a bit of grand-standing is seen as a way as to distract hoi polloii and demand unity bhind the government. Some fossil fule would be a bonus.
    If you are right JW, the US certainly will not stand for transgressions by the Turks. They have the ability to see and read what is going on in Turkey and the environs, so, the problem may disappear quietly. If it does bot disappear quietly, even if the EU takes the French route, I cannot see the US following suit. Which, in short, means that there will not be a war. However, there may be some other understanding reached over say, northern Cyprus?


  3. The US is not about to let all those natural resources slip away, are they? Convenient that Israel is party to this, after all that means the US has a “duty” to protect Israel’s interest.
    War will come, it’s inevitable. It’s the only way out for the US.


  4. Also… I am sure that newly re-established friends Germany and Turkey (Germany has fast tracked Turkish EU ascendancy) are working together to ensure election results here in Greece… funny how as soon as the anti EU party’s start polling higher than pro EU party’s Turkey all of a sudden becomes threatening again… trying to scare Greeks into wanting to stay in the EU for protection… of course when we leave the EU America will come in to protect us (in exchange for their bases back) at the request of Israel to save their oil and electrical interests… it’s all so see through…


  5. I don’t think there will be a war because war is expensive, and bad for oil drilling/business… also, anyone that believes the financial news coming out of Turkey is CRAZY, they can’t afford a fight, even against Greece.


  6. Told ya !!!

    and it’s gonna get really bad soon !

    Turkey will give the final blow to Greece !

    only a few months later though, the Turkish Frenkestein, sewn by the bodies of all slain neighbouring nations, will be sent back to hell by … guess who :) :)


  7. In the same Easter Med waters a ship,registered in Estonia,hired by Russians in Germany and owned by Germans,floats around trying to dock in Cyprus to refuel as they are not allowed to dock in Syria with their farm machinery from Iran.Whilst this carries on,the private yatch of Finnish business men is being restocked in Syria.
    The power cable from PPC will also be an internet hub with software originated from Ukrainian universities.
    This miasma of what is going on is really quite disturbing and GCHQ is on lunch break!


  8. This also clearly answers the German interest turned commitment to supply Israel with a nuke-launching capable submarine in a few year from now,
    when the Iranian threat will have been longed treated and foregone:
    It is the prospect of Russian influence leaching in to the South-eastern Middle-east for resources. And why is Turkey still an F-35 member?
    And why isn’t Israel cleared for the Eurofighter Typhoon (Tranche 3b)?


  9. Oil revenue increases with Instability.
    Under the circumstances of a military emergency, Greece can and should defer all financial obligations till perpetuity and send oil prices rocketing
    high enough in order to leave Turkey without continental friends at all.
    Just arrest the Turkish trespassers for once
    and confiscate all their belongings.


  10. You would certainly be singing praises to Stalin, in Russian,
    in the pan-European original USSR. That’s what.
    Obama and Erdogan are Muslim Brothers, that’s too.


  11. Oil in Greek waters, a joint energy cable being laid, Israel protecting the Operation, and a mad turk called Erdogan pirating oil in the same waters.
    sounds like a powder keg to me.


  12. Well, I bloody well hope the UK stays out of any war that arises!
    But, of course, we won’t. Our rulers just love poncing about on the world stage telling others what to do.
    I seem to recall that when Argentina was busy invading the Falklands, our Foreign Secretary was in Israel telling them they were very naughty (can’t remember what about though!). How they must have laughed-and no surprise they then helped Argentina with Exocet spares!


  13. I will disagree if I may
    Turkey is one more profitable spot on the map.The Aegean drilling area is the known 6-12 miles zone.
    Accd to any statistics,Two countries that share the same geological spot
    ( please note that I used the verb “share”)
    they usually tend to be discriminated in front of major profiting.
    This is red alert for the Mediterranean. And there’s no sign of war at least for now.If the euro market collapses,then we might see a war scenario but again on local level.Pure distraction..


  14. Yes because Menachim Begin hated the British so much he was willing to help the Argentinians with spares and other support


  15. I think Las Islas Malvinas belonged to Argentina,At least that’s what we were taught in our history books.Then other interests aroused.And two countries went to war.Isn’t the same old story?


  16. That is indeed true.
    He was also a murderer-but we have often dealt with suchlike-and have them in the legislatures of some parts of the UK.


  17. @KFC
    I think war will come – between Israel and Iran. The Israel’s are more worried about Iran’s nuclear threat , at the moment, than Turkey drilling for oil.


  18. Well at least it wont cost the taxpayer anything – we can may for it out of our ‘contingency fund’ (as per Libya) or our ‘currentcy reserves’ (as per IMF loan). I still wonder why this non taxpayer funded source which Osbourn has up his sleeve (and thus Darling/Brown before him) wasn’t used to bail out the banks……would have saved so much hardship for the taxpayer.

    I just don’t get it……


  19. Do geopolitics become clearer with trendy sunglasses (lol)?
    I can see an outline but still cannot decipher the master plan from those developments.
    First of all:
    — How and at what time did those interested find out that oil and natural gas in Greece and Cyprus is enough to cause all that fuss? Even though we’re supposedly at the exploratory phase, everybody acts as if they already know what’s there and ready to fight for it.

    — What’s the motive of the Americans? They certainly don’t need oil and gas from MENA** as they are on their way to become energy exporters (I ‘m not joking here, William E. Pollock has some excellent insights on this relatively unknown development).
    Ergo, they just want to control the exploitation and flow of energy resources to ensure their advantage:
    — Globally competitive Industry & Manufacturing hubs must never be developed in countries with control over rich energy resources.
    — The resulting economic flow (ideally in $) must be facilitated and managed by friendly financial firms.
    — The US armed forces will resolve any tensions in their favor.

    If this is correct, then one understands the fate of soviet industry after 1990, why western investments were instead directed to China regardless of Tienanmen Square and human rights abuses, why the UK and Norway are not in the Eurozone and will never be, even why every single movement towards modernity and industrialisation in the middle east failed in favor of the medieval doctrines of Wahhabis and Ayatollahs.
    And of course, why Germany is bound to always lose geopolitically.

    If I ‘m correct in my read of the american thought, the development of turkish industry cannot be reconciled with turkish oil and natural gas and one of the two should be abandoned.

    — What bigger countries would be the overt or covert competitors of the Americans in this regard and would support medium to smaller countries in their aspirations to industrialism with energy self-sufficiency, and how?

    — What could be the American answer?

    ** MENA: Middle East & North Africa


  20. All this maneuvering without a plan.

    After all, any ‘energy’ will simply be burned up in automobiles driven in circles … what has bankrupted Greece already. Spain is next to be ‘Greeked’ and that will happen sooner rather than later. Next after Spain? France …

    that will get some peoples’ attention. Peak oil is a bitch, as they (‘They’) say.

    Depletion is carrying on even as cables are laid and rigs dance over the eastern Mediterranean water. What is found is less that what is lost/squandered/wasted/burned up for nothing so to speak. All goes into the cars until — of course — it is too late. What difference does it make whose cars?

    What can the Greeks do? They are busted, like plungers standing empty-handed and empty-pocketed in a parking lot in Vegas. Next is Turkey setting up a drilling platform in Athens. Some old Greek meanders up and shoots himself in the head. The turks just will laugh.

    A war here will bankrupt the countries involved that much faster. Nato isn’t leaping into Syria: they can’t afford it. Syria is in the process of shooting its wadd: what comes afterward is destitution, Egypt is at the edge of the precipice as they are running out of money with which to import food. The Libyan war will conveniently last until that country’s crude is stolen …

    All for the cars, all for the blessed, blessed cars.


  21. The US game is to deplete every other source
    of energy,before tapping their own.
    Thereby keeping the long term hegemony of the Petro
    dollar.This is chess not checkers(draughts).


  22. “Personally, I think the UK should start drilling in Dublin Bay. I’m sure the Taioseach would understand entirely.”

    Whether our Taioseach did have a problem with this, who knows? What is blinding obvious is that he’d say S.F.A. because he’s a two faced coward.


  23. The “HELIOS” 10GW German project in Greece has ONE scope
    to transfer the NUCLEAR power from M East.. Far East… with a submersible cable to Italy( EU ) through Greece.





  24. Normally I’d just skip past tripe like this – but the US is not out to deplete every other known source of energy. If they were – they’d call a total halt to Fracking which is plowing ahead like crazy.
    The only way they can maintain the ‘petrodollar’ is if the rest of the world support it which is beginning to break down since they are creating instabiltiy in the soundness of the US dollar as the reserve currency. The soundness used to be based on US industrial capacity compared to all other countries but they have allowed the big corporations to ‘offshore’ that capacity and rely on ponzi banking as the only major economic player. Ponzi’s always fail – and the dollar is going down. No other major player is going to have its wealth (based on dollars) hyperinflated away to nothing – which is why China is busy divesting itself of its dollar holdings.
    The petro dollar (and the reserve dollar) will be gone within a few years. Whether western society as we have come to know it will still exist is the big question – but major changes are on their way – THAT is the only ‘conspiracy’ which I will sign up to. That and the idiocy or incompetance of the ‘power mad’.


  25. @Morningstar: “The petro dollar (and the reserve dollar) will be gone within a few years. Whether western society as we have come to know it will still exist is the big question – but major changes are on their way…”

    I agree that changes are on their way but it’s difficult to focus on exactly how they might pan out…there’s so many possible variables and one cannot dismiss surprise events that influence matters…
    But if the USD ceases to become the global resereve currency, that will herald very major changes in geopolitical power. IMV, it is this which will affect people in the West more than anything as we have all been accustomed to the world being run largely by America and the post-WWII institutions we set up. The emerging BRICS have a lot of resistance to us and them.


  26. Pano,

    Do not worry. There won’t be a repeat of 1922. I am pretty sure of that. Regardless of the fact, who the generals stand with.


  27. Well, I would like to remind some of you, to look in to the history books, not the school ones, but the real ones. GB was the one opposing dismembering of Turkey in 1920, because it was economically beneficial for GB. And then in 1922, Turkey bounced back. BTW, prince Philip has some unhappy family memories about that one.


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