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As if pro­duc­ing toma­toes in Turkey had made them free of charge at the mar­ket, Erdoğan is now promis­ing all good Ottoman repub­li­cans a soon-to-be imple­ment­ed free access to gas, once resolved a few lit­tle append­ed prob­lems with Greece and Rus­sia. Yet anoth­er promise for 2023.

Appar­ent­ly, deep­er in the expand­ing shore­lines of our coun­try, a for­tune lies impris­onned like a Mediter­ranean princess await­ing lib­er­a­tion by her Prince Charm­ing, prefer­ably a mus­ta­chiod Neo-Ottoman.

Erdoğan pro­vides an end­less sup­ply of jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for his expe­di­tions in Lybia, his lit­tle war on the islands and his brag­ging over Cyprus: all this is for the future of the Repub­lic and itsTurks in 2023.

It’s enough to have you almost for­get­ting about the ongo­ing off­i­cal war still bomb­ing Kur­dish forces and pop­u­la­tions in Irak and in north­ern Syr­ia.

Gas is now present at every lev­el in the repub­lic’s min­istries; if this con­tin­ues, it will be installed inside Hagia Sophia too. It’s a smoke­screen for the com­mon peo­ple, a gassing for those who don’t believe the hype.

But what are the facts? And the mishaps…

Late­ly, eigh­teen war­ships, no less, served as escorts to the ship Fatih explor­ing for under­wa­ter gas reserves deep into Greece’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters, some 130km from the Island of Rhodes but less than sev­en kilo­me­ters from Turkey’s south­ern coast. An inher­i­tance from a cer­tain soon-to-expire Sèvres Treaty, with pop­u­la­tion trans­fers under Atatürk caus­ing a cer­tain amount of con­fu­sion of which the “Neo-Ottoman repub­li­can nation­al­ists” are tak­ing full advan­tage. Ter­ri­to­r­i­al lim­its are bur­dened with paper­work and so are their mar­itime exten­sions. The Greek navy is on to Turkey’s game. Euro­pean “diplo­mat­ic cir­cles” are “alarmed”.

Appar­ent­ly, Princess Gas is at her most beguil­ing and evanes­cent in Chypri­ote waters, but a finan­cial wind­fall is also pos­si­ble off the shores of Lybia. Esti­mates men­tion some 5 765 bil­lion cubic meters.

Erdoğan is will­ing to give oth­ers a piece of the action, as long as he gets the lion’s share. As the Empire’s heir, he con­sid­ers the under­wa­ter princess should belong to him. And he’s being the most pro-active of them all, so as to avoid the princess evap­o­rat­ing.

No, I’m not try­ing to have you believe that Erdoğan’s mar­tial diplo­ma­cy rests sole­ly on a volatile prod­uct.

With Putin’s autho­riza­tion — who he is the com­man­der at Gazprom — an agree­ment had already stirred up the Euro­pean Union, since, hence­forth, an under­wa­ter gas pipeline, the “Turk­stream” will car­ry some 31 bil­lion cubic meters flow­ing out of Rus­sia. Already, half of this will go to Turkey, the rest will trav­el on to Europe, thus avoid­ing that sore spot in Ukraine. We also find Putin – him again – already deeply involved in cool­ing our Reis’ fiery tem­pera­ment in Syr­ia, also in the Lybian caper, but this time, on an oppos­ing team. Here again, I doubt all this is hap­pen­ing for the greater glo­ry of diplo­ma­cy. Briefly stat­ed, gas may not con­sti­tute a pol­i­cy per se, but it cer­tain­ly plays a part in it.

turkey gas chyprus
Look­ing close­ly at the mat­ter, you note that since the open­ing of the 21st cen­tu­ry, Erdoğan’s game of alliances and mis­al­liances and his big and small region­al wars have main­tained him sus­pend­ed above the great Nowhere ‚and in a con­stant rene­go­ti­a­tion of pow­er rela­tion­ships with every­one. And who remains our best ally at the end of the day? The Euro­pean Union, out of fear of immi­gra­tion, in oth­er words, thanks to their xeno­pho­bic pub­lic opin­ions.

The nois­es over “human rights and democ­ra­cy” are there to remind us of the mil­i­tary pres­ence of Turkey, a mem­ber of NATO, on ter­ri­to­ries that do not belong to it, and the post-ISIS betray­al in Syr­ia. Will those serve some pur­pose in a future sto­ry around big bucks?

As for the princess with the fake eye­lash­es – will she be the final adven­ture that will cut Erdoğan down to size?

After all, we won’t be going to pray inside Hagia Sophia so that the major gas groups can increase the pressure!

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges 
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