Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Hamdi Aksoy lashed out at a controversial natural gas pipepline agreement between Israel, Greece and Cyprus that effectively excludes Turkey in a statement on Thursday.
“Any project that ignores Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots to the island of Cyprus' natural resources will not be successful. Once again we want to bring this issue to the attention of the international community,” Aksoy said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Niko Mitsosakis, and Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades signed an agreement on Thursday regarding a natural gas pipeline of nearly 1900 km to be constructed between Cyprus, the Greek island of Crete, and the Greek mainland, for the purpose of shipping Israeli natural gas to Europe, which is expected to be primarily purchased by Italy.
The issue has been the source of a heated dispute between Turkey and its regional neighbors regarding the natural gas, and Professor Oktay Tanrısever of the International Relations Department of Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) told the pro-government, state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) that the project is political in nature and not cost effective.
"The EastMed project is a political project. I do not think European institutions consider it economically feasible. This policy is not viable, and economically it is very expensive,” Tanrısever told AA, referring to what he described as an effort on the part of Greece and Cyprus to isolate Turkey.
The pro-government, state run TRT news channel referred to the agreement on Thursday as 'provocation' aimed at Turkey.
Alex Lakagos, deputy director of an Athens energy think tank told the Deutsche Welle news agency that the project was not profitable to due to the exorbitant costs that are required to build it, which are thought to be at least 6 billion euros.
However, the project has received the support of the United States and of the European Union, as the pipeline would effectively supply Europe with ten percent of its natural gas demand.