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EU urges Turkey to stop Mediterranean drilling

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

EU urges Turkey to stop Mediterranean drilling:


Context:

The European Union has urged Turkey to halt its drilling activities in contested waters in the Mediterranean and ordered EU officials to speed up work aimed at blacklisting some Turkish officials linked to the energy exploration.

What’s the issue?

Over recent weeks, tensions have been rising in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, prompted by what seems like a simple rivalry over energy resources.

  • Turkey has pursued an aggressive gas exploration effort, its research vessel heavily protected by warships of the Turkish Navy.
  • There have been encounters with rival Greek vessels and a third Nato country, France, has become involved, siding with the Greeks.
  • These tensions also highlight another shift in the region – the decline of US power.

Cause for latest tensions:

Tensions are mounting to breaking point between Turkey and Greece over Turkey’s drilling work near the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which like Greece is an EU member country.

  • Turkey doesn’t recognize the divided island of Cyprus as a state and claims 44 per cent of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone as its own.

Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

greece_turkey

About the Mediterranean:

It is a vast sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south, and Asia to the east.

The Mediterranean Sea connects:

  1. to the Atlantic Oceanby the Strait of Gibraltar(known in Homer‘s writings as the “Pillars of Hercules“) in the west
  2. to the Sea of Marmaraand the Black Sea, by the Straits of the Dardanellesand the Bosporus respectively, in the east
  3. The 163 km (101 mi) long artificial Suez Canalin the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Locate important places mentioned above on map.

Sources: the Hindu.