The first part of this series dealt with violations of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime and its theft of Turks’ contributions and refugee money provided by the European Union. This part looks at Turkey’s attempts to steal oil and gas in the Mediterranean after Erdogan decided to play the role of a pirate.
Erdogan’s biggest crisis is that Turkey’s borders on the Mediterranean coast are free from gas and oil. Although these rich coasts contain a strategic treasure of gas initially estimated at 170 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to a satellite survey conducted by a US geological mission in 1974, Turkey has no share.
Turkey has found itself completely isolated in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially as it bought expensive exploration equipment with the aim of drilling in the Mediterranean, which it tried more than once. But European warnings of harsh sanctions against Ankara have not stopped. When Turkey could not find a solution, it sought to impose a new reality in the Mediterranean by signing a security and border agreement with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya to demarcate the maritime borders between the two countries.
Through this agreement, Turkey sought to change the map of existing alliances, as it wishes to become a terminal for exporting Israeli gas to Europe. However, Turkish relations with the European Union have been strained because of the collapse of human rights values and freedoms within Turkey, the Turkish military operations against the Kurdish minority in Syria and Iraq, and the Turkish government’s extortion of Europe by means of the Syrian refugee paper and the constant threat of opening the doors to enter Europe, which has deprived Ankara of the support it desires.
Turkey’s main goal of interfering in Libya is to prospect for wealth, as Ankara seeks to obtain a piece of the Mediterranean cake, especially since Turkey imports more than 70% of oil and petroleum products from abroad. This means that if Ankara fails to obtain permission from the European Union to explore on its borders, then it will explore on the borders of Libya with the blessing of the Libyan Brotherhood, represented by the GNA in Tripoli.
Meanwhile, Cyprus previously accused Turkey of piracy, after Ankara announced new plans to explore for oil and gas in the maritime areas of the divided island using the Yavuz drilling and exploration ship.
Erdogan was previously accused of stealing Iraqi and Syrian oil in 2014 after ISIS took control of cities in the two countries. He made deals with the terrorist organization to pillage oil in exchange for facilitating the transit of militants through Turkish territory.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also explicitly described the Turkish president as a thief, saying, “Erdogan is a thief; he has stolen factories, wheat and oil, and today he is stealing land,” after Erdogan has announced that he was launching a military operation on Syrian soil, particularly in Idlib.
This was not denied by the Turkish president, who announced his true goals and objectives regarding the establishment of a safe zone in Syria during a speech at the UN Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland on December 17, 2019, as he made an appeal to world powers to extract Syrian oil and spend its revenues for the refugees who will be resettled in northern Syria.
“Let us extract oil together from the wells that are controlled by terrorists in Syria, and let us build housing units, schools and hospitals in the areas liberated from terrorists, where the refugees can reside,” Erdogan said at the time.
The Turkish President confirmed these ambitions to reporters while returning from Brussels in early March 2020. “I offered to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that if he provides economic support, we can build the infrastructure, and through the oil extracted there, we can help destroyed Syria get back on its feet.”
Erdogan said that Putin is studying the offer, adding that he could make a similar offer to US President Donald Trump.
These statements outwardly appear to be a form of mercy, but their essence carries the flames of torment, as Erdogan has not found a solution to get out of his country’s economic crises except by pirating Syria’s oil.
While the Turkish regime is claiming that it wants to create a safe zone in northern Syria for the return of Syrian refugees, Erdogan’s forces have been committing executions and confiscating homes in areas they control. Human Rights Watch has criticized the conditions there, calling for the United Nations to investigate human rights violations and possible war crimes in the region, which extends 30 km deep into Syrian territory.
In a recent report, Human Rights Watch stressed that executions, looting of property and preventing the return of displaced persons to their homes serve as compelling evidence that Turkey’s proposed safe zones are not be safe. This confirms that Erdogan’s statements about establishing safe zones are lies, which he only reiterates in order to achieve his malicious plans of controlling Syrian oil sources, especially since the pipeline transit fees add billions of dollars to the Turkish treasury annually. Implementing the safe zone places the vast majority of Syrian oil resources in the interest of Ankara, which is a kiss of life for its collapsed economy.