The Ottoman Empire was often called the ‘sick man of Europe’; its successor –Turkey – has now grow to be Europe’s boogeyman. In clearly realpolitik actions, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has established the Mediterranean area as a stage to showcase his geopolitical prowess. The speedy concerned actors, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt, are strengthening their bilateral and multilateral relations to reduce the causalities and mitigate additional conundrums brought on by Erdoğan’s ‘bully’ ways. In what will be referred to as as a feast of provocations, Turkey has spawned its net into 4 geopolitical parts: earth, water, air and gasoline. After offering a short conceptual framework, this research will contextualise the 4 parts of Turkish geopolitics within the south-eastern Mediterranean. The consequences of such actions will probably be critically analysed in an effort to attain the conclusion that Erdoğan’s expansionary visions intrinsically intervene with the sovereignty of the Mediterranean states. This perplexed regional puzzle has led to the militarization of the world which is pivotal for the escalation of the tensions. Within the last part, a scope of suggestions will probably be given as to the de-escalation and stabilisation of tensions.
Bluntly put, geopolitics govern world politics. Each motion and subsequent response will be traced again to geopolitics, assimilating to the “truths” of “geography”. Turkey by adopting these truths, opts to broaden its sphere of affect over the Japanese Mediterranean –its key to regional energy. Geopolitics typically contain “aggressive zero-sum” approaches for buying energy and safeguarding safety. Geoeconomics and geostrategy have been acutely utilized by Turkey in attaining each. Geoeconomics considers the administration of sources, while geostrategy considers the acquirement of “bodily management”, or the “functionality to disclaim others” such management. With Turkey supporting that it has “the longest shoreline”, the geopolitical video games within the South-Japanese Mediterranean, are based mostly on who claims a bit of its seabed.
Erdoğan and his social gathering, AKP, have been reforming Turkey from the within to create a robust nation that may match their expansionary international coverage. This narrative, termed Erdoganism, displays on how the Recep’s “persona and magnificence […] embody the Turkish nation”. In bringing Turkey again its former glory, this neo-Ottoman outlook on politics is turning into all of the extra geopolitical; an aggressive and provocative stance within the Mediterranean area has been a continuing in Turkish international coverage. Earth, water, air and gasoline are thus the 4 parts that Turkey is attempting to grasp at bending to imagine its energy and glory. Because of the multipolarity of the Mediterranean with a conglomerate of “regional states and superpowers […] non-state actors” and oil companies, clashes come up.
Hybrid wars have been sensationalised by geopolitics, “blurring the traces between […] warfare and peace”. The Mediterranean has step by step grow to be a hybrid warzone. By controlling the Mediterranean, the ruling regional energy receives a package deal of “financial and political advantages” because of the vitality prospects. The “widening divergence in pursuits” have alienated Turkey from the opposite regional actors, whereas fostering stronger relations between them. This “multipolarity” of the worldwide political order permits nations like Turkey to assimilate “multidirectional and multidimensional international insurance policies”, depicting, thus, its move-away from its “decades-old safety discount” with the West. Turkey has been concerned in a frozen battle in Cyprus after the 1974 invasion, which resulted within the division of the island to the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Erdoğan in 2003 stated: “Cyprus has grow to be a problem inflicting hassle for Turkey in all areas”. Arguing in any other case, Turkey has, now, grow to be the difficulty. Turkey can be clashing with Israel and Egypt, isolating itself from the Mediterranean cluster in its quest to imagine regional energy.
Within the very core of the geopolitical clashes, lies the possession of vitality, its “geographical location and position for provide [and] transit of demand”. Turkey’s “geoeconomic technique” capitalizes on its strategic geographic location, and accompanied by its rising combination demand for vitality and expansionary visions, it assimilated provocative geostrategies to safe its assumption of regional energy. In Determine 1, the vitality prospects found within the Mediterranean are listed. None belong to the Turkish Unique Financial Zone (EEZ), however that doesn’t imply that Turkey doesn’t actively attempting to insert itself within the dialog, as seen in Determine 2.
The “new regional establishment” has inspired the impacted states to reinforce inter-communication. Stronger bilateral and multilateral ties between Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt have been facilitating the adoption of the brand new establishment. In spite of everything, a stronger Levant will finally stand its floor reverse the Turkish sultan-like Recep. What pushed ahead their agenda, nonetheless, was the upcoming menace of Turkey, which declared its plans to discover the Mediterranean waters henceforth 2017. The possession and allocation of sources for every nation’s geoeconomic methods had been sure to conflict. Whereas “oil and gasoline financing” is falling, the distribution of sources turns into solely economically viable via the route of Turkey, laying the groundwork for video games of aggression, provocation and coercion.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, as soon as talked about “Pax Mediterranean”; in 2020, the precise reverse is noticed, because the “rising militarization of the area” has been high precedence of all actors concerned. Not like the remaining, Turkey refrains from recognising the Mediterranean as a unity and “political entity” and adopts totally different approaches for every nation. Greece and the E.U. are going through the refugee disaster, whereas Cyprus is going through Turkish breaches of worldwide regulation, in what Turkey didn’t anticipate because the “internationalisation” of the Cyprus Dispute. To grasp its stance in these two nations, one should take a look at very ideology of the ruling social gathering – AKP. Shifting from its reformist starting, it has now adopted a neo-Ottoman custom (Erdoganism) the place Turkey, as an anti-Western regional energy, assumes energy within the Mediterranean to manage the Center East. These perplexed interconnections of the Mediterranean geopolitical video games are very important for Turkey to imagine the Ottoman glory.
Turkey capitalizes on the E.U. and Greece’s fears in “[unleashing] on the bloc via Greece extra refugees and migrants”. Though initially there was belief between Turkey and the E.U., the latter’s rising “solidarity with Greece”, “Ankara’s refusal to readmit folks”, Erdoğan’s dubiety and the Evros incident in March 2020, have shattered the already susceptible belief. Extra particularly, a mass of refugees and migrants aided by the Turkish forces entered Greece when Turkey opened the Evros border, pushed folks to Greece after which re-locked it. Erdoğan’s, inherently realpolitik, power-move allowed him to imagine energy over Greece and the E.U. His menace of opening the gates was materialised, with the potential of repetition. The mayhem brought on accompanied by the “tender sanctions” of the E.U. rang victory bells for Erdoğan, who’s portrayed, by his authorities’s media, as the final who tirelessly defeats every part. The trickle-down results of Erdoğan’s actions are the endangerment of human lives, the crippling down of the socio-economic constructions of Greece, the fraying belief between the latter and the E.U. and at last the delegitimisation of the E.U.’s energy to guard its personal member state in addition to human lives. Turkey’s vitality as a “stepping stone” to the inflow of refugees and the “limbo” state of the refugees within the Greek islands sharply conflict, clearly distinguishing who’s the predator and who the sufferer.
For the reason that 1974 invasion in Cyprus, Turkey has been advocating that its mere objective is to safeguard and defend Turkish-Cypriots. In October 2020, as a transfer to make sure widespread help for far-right Ersin Tatar within the elections within the TRNC, Turkey allowed for the opening of the ghost city Varosha which was abandoned after the second unlawful invasion in August 1974. Following the Safety Council resolutions which supplied for the re-inhabitation of Varosha solely by its unique inhabitants, obligations underneath worldwide regulation had been clearly breached. Aside from condemnations, little has occurred and Tatar gained the elections. One other victory for Turkey. Curiously, the united statesA. has stepped in to raise a “33-year arms embargo on Cyprus and deepened its safety cooperation with Nicosia”, after a go to by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Cyprus. The embargo initially geared toward selling reconciliation, however contemplating that this has now grow to be a midsummer’s midnight dream, the Mediterranean area is championing for its militarisation. The selection of non-Mediterranean actors to become involved within the regional geopolitics heighten the urgency in addition to the results of Turkish geopolitical video games.
Moreover the unlawful drillings within the Cypriot EEZ, Turkey’s memorandum with Libya has completely made its geopolitical intentions distinct. The settlement “[violated] the Regulation of the Sea and has been criticized […] as provocative”. Turkey geared toward redrafting the nautical boundaries to profit themselves and Libya, as Erdoğan disputes the “continental shelf” entitled by Crete and Cyprus. Turkey additionally maintains that Greece is wrongfully claiming the entire of Aegean, by arguing that they’re solely “defending their blue homeland”, in accordance with Cem Gürdeniz. In easier phrases, they’re opting to discover a way-in as they “can not discover and exploit the Mediterranean seabed”. To counter such provocations, the Cypriot navy is “[buying] two Israeli-manufactured hi-tech patrol vessels”, depicting the strengthening of their bilateral relations. Equally, Greece is to extend its fleet by 7 to eight unmanned airborne equipment, and organize Israeli trainings to modernise its protection capabilities. The militarization of the Mediterranean is now an undisputed reality.
In August 2020, Turkey “intercepted six Greek F-16 jets […] amid rising tensions with Athens over vitality exploration rights”. The Turkish authorities nonetheless doesn’t contemplate the “flights by Turkish fighter jets over the Aegean” a provocation. These flights occurred amongst 10-6 nautical miles from Greek territory, and on events even above Greek islands. In gentle of this, Greece is opting to replace its “protection capabilities” by buying 18 “French-made Rafale fighter locations”. The Israeli willingness to “militarily defend Noble’s exploratory actions” within the Cypriot EEZ signifies that vitality is the widespread denominator of the regional geopolitical video games and that the actors concerned, besides Turkey, are forging sturdy alliances to share info, talk and inevitably survive.
Everybody needs a bit of the Mediterranean pie on account of its vitality prospects. The query nonetheless lies in who will get the larger piece. The Turkish ‘bully’ ways that don’t appear to get the suitable worldwide condemnation solely feed Erdoğan’s visions additional. The financial viability of operating a pipeline from Cyprus via Turkey, costing roughly $4.78 billion, not like via Greece (roughly $19.5 billion), provides leverage to Turkey. The geopolitics of gasoline welcome each shrew geoeconomics and geostrategy. A coherent response from the opposite Mediterranean actors is deemed crucial; “Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority sought to present institutional form to their vitality methods” via the institution of the East Mediterranean Gasoline Discussion board. Likewise, the summit in Corsica of the Mediterranean 7 hosted by Macron, proves the urgency of the battle.
France has sturdy pursuits within the Mediterranean contemplating that Whole, a French firm, is conducting exploratory actions within the Cypriot EEZ. Till October 2020, Turkey’s Yavuz was illegally working within the Cypriot EEZ. Via the Franco-Cypriot “protection cooperation settlement”, cooperation will probably be supplied when it comes to “armament, protection expertise and employees coaching in France’s army faculties”. The E.U’s quasi-appeasement coverage, by not holding a stronger stance in opposition to Turkey, endangers the steadiness of energy within the area. The acknowledgment by Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Fee, that the gap between the E.U. and Turkey is rising is firstly inadequate and dreadfully late. The battle of vitality has initially began as a geopolitical one between Turkey and Greece with Cyprus within the center, however now it’s spanning from Israel, to Egypt, Libya and the United Arab Emirates. The gasoline prospects within the Mediterranean is a blessing in disguise; since their discovery, extra points have arose than precise advantages. For the de-escalation of the strain within the Mediterranean a wider and a extra decisive method in direction of Turkey is required, as by appeasing Erdoğan, his bully ways will solely grow to be harsher.
Again in 2001 Candar and Fuller gave their scope – their 7 ideas to be actual – on the actions Turkey ought to take to make sure steadiness within the Mediterranean, which, inter alia, inspired a “good-neighbour coverage”, the “emergence of democracy” , the overcoming of “the adverse options of the Ottoman interval” and “shut ties with Europe”. That is removed from the fact of 2020. The E.U. should clearly coordinate its integration to take a decisive stance both via sanctions or via actively pursuing the initiation of negotiations between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. To resolve the Cyprus Dispute may show catalytic in being a stepping stone for wider steadiness within the Mediterranean. Ultimately, the E.U. wants to make sure the graceful switch of gasoline from the Mediterranean, as it will enable it to rely much less on gasoline exports from Russia, “[strengthening its] vitality safety”. An E.U.-Turkey dialogue may additionally be useful, however the imposition of efficient sanctions could also be simpler within the short-run. Jan Claude Junker, when requested concerning the E.U.’s subsequent steps, stated that albeit not a fan of sanctions himself, they look like the one efficient route. Condemnations of abstention, evidently, don’t work on Erdoğan’s realpolitik and the E.U. has not the time and house to stay a mere bystander of occasions.
Contemplating that Turkey shouldn’t be a signatory of the Regulation of the Sea, worldwide regulation might need little impact on the case of the Mediterranean Continental Shelf. Additional offers and agreements of the instantly concerned actors within the South-Japanese Mediterranean are welcomed and inspired, as a result of in solidarity they’ll succeed. Albeit not all the time constructive, the involvement of nations like France and the united statesA. will certainly convey to the forefront the case of the Mediterranean; the upper its protection, the upper the possibilities of pressures on Turkey by the worldwide neighborhood. On this geopolitical sport of pure realpolitik, decisive actions taken in unity are wanted.
In essence, Erdoğan’s imaginative and prescient of seeing Turkey regaining its Ottoman glory doesn’t correspond with the person sovereignty of every state within the Mediterranean area. This research tried to critically analyse the 4 parts of Turkish geopolitics – earth, water, air and gasoline. After offering a conceptual framework of the primary ideas, it contextualised the tensions within the Mediterranean and showcased the geoeconomics of the distribution of vitality, the geostrategy of the refugee disaster and the geopolitical bully ways carried out each in sea and air. The militarization of the Mediterranean, albeit, alarming, was additionally the anticipated response to Turkey’s actions. A extra concretely built-in E.U. will assist to de-escalate and stabilize the tensions via the adoption of efficient sanctions and/or the initiation of negotiations. The strengthening ties amongst Cyprus, Israel, Greece and Egypt are additionally welcomed. The fait accompli of geopolitics is undisputed, and the actors within the Mediterranean enviornment should pay their dues to outlive. Erdoğan is, in spite of everything, a power to be reckoned with.
Figures and tables
 Sören Scholvin, “Geopolitics: An Overview of Ideas and Empirical Examples From Worldwide Relations”. FIIA Working Paper (2016): 16.
 Pinar Bilgin, “Turkey’s ‘Geopolitics Dogma’”. In The Return of Geopolitics in Europe?: Social Mechanisms and International Coverage Id Crises, eds. Stefano Guzzini (Cambridge Research in Worldwide Relations 124): 153.
 Ole Gunnar Austvik, Gülmira Rzayeva, “Turkey within the Geopolitics of Power”, Power Coverage 107 (2017): 540.
 Ibid 540.
 Nael Shama, “Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, Al Jazeera Centre for Research (23 December 2019): 5.
 Ihsan Yilmaz, Galib Bashirov, “The AKP After 15 Years: Emergence of Erdoganism in Turkey”, Third World Quarterly 39, no. 9 (2018): 1812
 Shama, “Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, 3.
 Mary Kaldor, “Geo-Politics”, In the World Safety Cultures, eds. Mary Kaldor (Polity, 2018): 67.
 Fiona Hill, “Pipeline Politics, Russo-Turkish Competitors and Geopolotics within the Japanese Mediterranean”, The Cyprus Evaluation 8 no.1 (1996): 98.
 Theodoros Tsakiris, “Greece And the Power Geopolitics of the Japanese Mediterranean”, LSE IDEAS Strategic Replace 14.1 (June 2014):2.
 Tarik Oğuzlu, “Turkey and the West: Geopolitical Shifts within the AK Social gathering Period”, within the Turkey’s Pivot to Eurasia: Geopolitics and International Coverage in a Altering World Order, eds. Emre Erşen, Seçkin Köstem (London: Routledge, 2019): 18 & 17.
 Gencer Özcan, “The Altering Function of Turkey’s Army in International Coverage Making”, UNISCI Dialogue Papers No. 23 (Could 2010): 36.
 Tsakiris, “Greece and the Power Geopolitics of the Japanese Mediterranean”, 3 / Shama, “Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, 4.
 Austvik, Rzayeva, “Turkey within the Geopolitics of Power”, 539.
 Ibid 546.
 Aybars Görgülü, Gülşah Darkish, “Turkey, the EU and the Mediterranean: Perceptions, Insurance policies and Prospects”, in The Mediterranean Reset: Geopolitics in a New Age, eds. Anoushiravan Ehteshami, Daniela Huber and Maria Cristina Paciello (England: World Coverage, 2017): 130.
 Ibid 131.
 Ibid 132.
 Suzanne Carlson, “Pivoting Power Relations within the Japanese Mediterranean”, Turkish Coverage Quarterly 15, no. 1 (2016): 68.
 Patrick Wintour, “How a Rush for Mediterranean Gasoline threatens to push Greece and Turkey into Conflict”. The Guardian (11 September 2020): https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/11/mediterranean-gas-greece-turkey-dispute-nato .
 Shama, “Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, 8.
 Görgülü, Darkish, “Turkey, the EU and the Mediterranean: Perceptions, Insurance policies and Prospects”, 126.
 Emmanuel Karagiannis, “Shifting Japanese Mediterranean Alliances”. Center East Quarterly (2016): https://www.meforum.org/5877/shifting-eastern-mediterranean-alliances .
 Yilmaz , Bashirov, “The AKP After 15 Years: Emergence of Erdoganism in Turkey”,1822-1823.
 The Nationwide Herald, “Going through Turkey’s Provocations, Cyprus Indicators Protection Take care of France”, The Nationwide Herald: Cyprus – Politics (21 October 2020): https://www.thenationalherald.com/cyprus_politics/arthro/facing_turkish_provocations_cyprus_signs_defense_deal_with_france-699203/ .
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 The Nationwide Herald, “Going through Turkey’s Provocations, Cyprus Indicators Protection Take care of France” / SigmaLive, “Ανάλυση: Η Τούρκικη Στρατηγική της Υπερξάπλωσης και το διαφαινόμενο αδιέξοδο” [Analysis: The expansionary Turkish strategy and the approaching dead-end”, SigmaLive (10 October 2020): https://www.sigmalive.com/news/international/682774/analysi-i-tourkiki-stratigiki-tis-ypereksaplosis-kai-to-diafainomeno-adieksodo.
 Görgülü, Darkish, “Turkey, the EU and the Mediterranean: Perceptions, Insurance policies and Prospects”, 129 & 130.
 DW, “’Pirate State’: Cyprus Slams Unlawful Turkish drilling”, DW: Information, (19 January 2020): https://www.dw.com/en/pirate-state-cyprus-slams-illegal-turkish-drilling/a-52061563.
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 Karagiannis, “Shifting Japanese Mediterranean Alliances”.
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 Carlson, “Pivoting Power Relations on this Easter Mediterranean”, 70.
 Shama, “Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, 9.
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 The Nationwide Herald, “Going through Turkey’s Provocations, Cyprus Indicators Protection Take care of France”.
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 Wintour, “How a Rush for Mediterranean Gasoline threatens to push Greece and Turkey into Conflict”.
 Cengiz Candar, Graham E. Fuller, “Grand Geopolitics for a New Turkey”, Mediterranean Quarterly 12, no. 1 (2001): 24-25, 36.
 Karagiannis, “Shifting Japanese Mediterranean Alliances”.
 Μαρία Βασιλείου [Maria Vasiliou], «Γιούνκερ: ‘Πρέπει να Επιβάλουμε Κυρώσεις στον Ερντογάν» [Juncker: We Must Impose Sanctions on Erdogan], Το Βήμα Πολιτική [To Vima: Politics] (19 October 2020): https://www.tovima.gr/2020/10/19/politics/giounker-prepei-na-epivaloume-kyroseis-ston-erntogan/.
 Shama, ““Experiences: The Geopolitics of a Latent Worldwide Battle in Japanese Mediterranean”, 5.
Written at: Leiden College
Written for: Realpolitik and Worldwide Safety
Date written: October 2020
Additional Studying on E-Worldwide Relations