Is Turkey's East Mediterranean gamble a risk worth taking?

Looking back at 2019 it will no doubt be remembered as the year that Turkey upped the ante in the deep waters of the East Mediterranean by adopting and promoting a highly provocative, if not belligerent, stand. In what appears to be a well-thought-out plan, Ankara has over the years very consistently pegged its claims for hydrocarbon exploration in large swaths of the sea areas off Cyprus, Greece and lately Libya.
In February 2018, Turkish naval units succeeded in scaring away a drillship operated by Eni as it was getting ready to prospect for gas in Block 3 in the economic exclusion zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. Then, in the spring of last year, the Fatih drillship, operated by Turkey's TPAO, carried out exploration work within the island's EEZ west of Paphos. Thus Turkey has sent an unequivocally strong message that it is disputing Cyprus' EEZ. This message was...

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