Pouring oil on troubled water in Cyprus

Trouble waterWe’ve heard a lot recently about the Republic of Cyprus’ search for gas and oil and the troubles this may bring if Turkey continues to argue that the Republic of Cyprus is an illegal entity which broke the 1960 constitution in 1963 and therefore has no right to allow these explorations. Turkey has been accused of harassing exploration vessels off Cyprus but this has not stopped the exploration. There is a theory that Turkey, and more importantly Turkish Cypriots, is feeling left out of future fuel discoveries around, what it sees as, its territories. This would become especially true if Greece were to discover oil or gas in regions around Greek islands close to Turkey.

A recent move could mark a change to Turkey’s tactics. Much has been made of future oil wars but there is growing speculation that a different kind of war may be facing us in the future, namely “water wars.” Turkey’s news that a water pipeline to North Cyprus will be finished in 2013 might be a way of saying that they will be supplying to Cyprus a renewable resource more important than oil and perhaps the Republic of Cyprus should be think more deeply about not sharing any oil or gas revenues with Turkish Cypriots, especially if they want a future share of that water! On top of that, if the Republic of Cyprus were to share those revenues they would do a great deal to offset the annual hundreds of millions of dollars of support they give to Turkish Cypriots.

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