The discovery of massive natural gas fields off Israel’s northern coast more than a decade ago and subsequent attempts to export this gas to Europe have highlighted the true fault lines in the Turkish-Israeli alliance, writes Joseph Dana.
Israeli pipeline deal with Greece means weakened Turkey - analyst
Israel’s decision in late December to strike a deal with Cyprus and Greece to transport its natural gas to Europe marks the start of weaker Israeli-Turkish relations and a reduced role for the Muslim country in the region, said journalist and analyst Joseph Dana.
Israel agreed in principle to the new U.S.-approved $7 billion pipeline in late December, It is set to have the capacity to transport 20 billion cubic metres of gas annually.
The decision, which will all but cut Turkey out of Israel’s natural gas fortunes, reflects a rejection of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his grand vision to establish Turkey as a dominant energy transit hub, Dana said, according to Euractiv.
“Erdoğan’s old partners have finally had enough of his rhetoric and stratospheric ambition,” he said. “While Israel was once eager to use Turkey as an energy transit hub, it now sees much less value in the partnership.”
Turkey is now in a weakened economic and geopolitical state, also reflected in U.S. President Donald Trump’s willingness to protect Israel’s policies in Palestine. Meanwhile Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has cultivated fresh alliances with right-wing European leaders, rendering Turkey less important, Dana said.