Turkey tries insulting Egypt, Greece in imaginary maritime deal - analysis

Greece and Egypt signed a deal in August 2020 after they, along with France, the UAE and Cyprus, condemned Turkey’s provocative actions at sea in May.

Villagers fix a broken flagpole in Sugedigi village on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)
Villagers fix a broken flagpole in Sugedigi village on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)
Turkey has invented a new “reconciliation,” after attempts to spread propaganda stories of “reconciliation” with Israel failed last year.
In early December, after Ankara saw that Joe Biden had won the US presidential election and its days of working closely with Donald Trump were coming to an end, it sought to dupe Israel into a “maritime deal.”
Israel already has close relations with Cyprus, Egypt and Greece and has delimitation of economic zones with them.
Israel, Greece and Cyprus are developing a pipeline following a deal they signed last year, and are part of a gas forum in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey sought to upset all these relationships in December 2019 by signing a deal with Libya, reaching across all the peaceful agreements that Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt have, to grab greater control of the sea.
Greece and Egypt signed a deal in August, after condemning Turkey’s provocative actions at sea in May along with France, the UAE and Cyprus. Turkey responded by threatening Greece, and the countries came close to a potential conflict. France was involved as well.
Then Ankara shifted gears from threats to spreading false news stories. It engineered stories in the Israeli media in which Cyprus disappeared from Mediterranean rights of water and exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and Turkey and Israel would have a magic deal over maritime borders. But Israel rejected the deal. It is not Turkey’s neighbor across the sea, despite the maps that Turkey tried to present that ignored Cyprus.
Now Turkey has done the same thing by trying to implicate Egypt. This comes after the Philia forum in Athens, where it was clear how Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France and other countries are growing more closely into an alliance system of shared interests.
Ankara uses its pro-government media in English to spread its latest story. “Turkey could sign deal with Egypt on maritime zone,” says a headline at Anadolu, a state-run media arm. “Greece worried as Egypt acts in line with Turkish EEZ in EastMed,” says Daily Sabah, another pro-government organ. “Is Egypt warming up to Turkey’s proposition in the Eastern Mediterranean?” asks state-controlled TRT in Turkey.
THERE IS no evidence that Ankara and Cairo could sign a maritime deal, and it would be odd for Egypt to suddenly reverse years of being on course with Greece and Cyprus to get involved in a deal that negates Cyprus’s economic claims and harms Greece.
Turkey’s odd approach, similar to the December approach to Israel, is to have the government just tell the media that this is happening, they all report it as fact, and then the idea becomes “reality” without anything having ever happened. The same thing was done in an attempt to dupe Israel and Israeli media into an imaginary deal that never had a chance of happening.
Turkey is talking “reconciliation,” but most countries that have long experienced being threatened, slandered, insulted and even terrorized by Ankara’s current ruling party know that there is no reconciliation. This is because Turkey only floats these ideas to get what it wants.
In each “deal,” it secures a huge claim to the Mediterranean far beyond its rights, and tramples Cyprus and Greece. Egypt and Israel would get nothing out of any deals with Turkey because they already have their economic zones established. They don’t need Ankara to agree to them, because they have Greece and Cyprus much closer offshore.
This means that Turkey floats these ideas to lay claim to waters it has no rights to, and gives nothing in return. France knows this “reconciliation” game as well, and has also asked for Turkey to actually change and do things, not just say “reconciliation” and continue along the same path.
Turkey’s hosting of Hamas terrorists and recent threats to “liberate” Jerusalem from Israeli control are a non-starter. It has similarly threatened Egypt’s government. This is not forgotten.