Turkey and Greece will hold their 64th annual talks today.
These talks will focus on sustained bilateral disputes in the Aegean Sea regarding maritime delineations and exploration for natural gas. The shared sea has been a source of increased tensions over the past year. These disputes have roots in a disagreement over Cyprus’ governance but have evolved as more parties got involved.
The disagreement around Cyprus grew as exploration for gas by Turkey and Greece increased around the island. Greece, with allies Israel and France, formed the East Mediterranean Gas forum, creating a joint plan to extract gas from the sea. In a recent move, Greece signed a defense deal with France worth $3.5 billion including the purchase of three French frigates. Greece argues the deal is for deterrence purposes, but it has contributed to increased tensions surrounding gas exploration. Turkey’s response to Greece’s recent actions includes posturing through live fire drills in the Aegean sea continuing through October 5. Continued assertive action in the region from both Turkey and Greece seems likely. While tensions have risen, the occurrence of talks makes violent confrontation unlikely.
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Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.