Turkey and Israel, Europe’s New Energy Alternative
The outbreak of war in Ukraine has affected the world energy market. The most important event after the increase in oil and gas prices is the limitation and conditions of the new supply of energy to the EU market by Russia. This is why the European Union is thinking of reducing purchases from Russia to supply gas.
Europe, meanwhile, is thinking of countries that can meet this need. Europe’s strategy is to meet its needs from several sources so that it does not become dependent on one source.
In addition to increasing oil and gas purchases from old suppliers, Europeans are also turning to new suppliers. Over the past month, news of Turkish-Israeli cooperation has shifted the focus of the energy market. The Leviathan and Tamar gas fields in the waters of occupied Palestine, as well as the oil and gas fields in the disputed EEZ between Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, are a new source of gas for Europe.
Turkey has no territory in this area, but continues its illegal exploration due to the occupation of the northern Republic of Cyprus and the formation of the de facto Turkish government of Northern Cyprus. The news of cooperation with Israel in these fields and the pipeline connecting the Turkish port of Ceyhan is a turning point in European strategy.
These fields are the closest point to the export terminal of Ceyhan port and Europe. From here, Turkey sends Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas shipments to Europe. The security of this field is much higher than other fields in the Caucasus and Libya due to the military power of Israel and Turkey and the NATO base in Cyprus. The Russian Federation’s naval and air base in the port of Banias and Latakia are not efficient enough to cut it off, but it is a potential danger.
The current challenges for these pipes and fields are protests by the Lebanese and Cypriot governments, Iranian and Russian bases in Syrian ports, and pro-Iranian forces in Lebanon.
Cyprus’s European nature and de facto Northern Cyprus government also do not have much opposition to Turkish influence in this area. They are relinquishing their share, and the main challenge is on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
The Lebanese government’s opposition, due to the presence of Iranian supporters, including Shiite parties in the parliament and cabinet, is a serious and important issue that makes things difficult for Israel politically. They are a major obstacle to Israel, Turkey and the European Union, but the Lebanese government needs such a resource to get rid of its crisis-ridden economy. This reduces the share of other parties. In this case, the European Union is trying to attract the Lebanese cabinet with its own groups and negotiate with Iran.