web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Cyprus Joins the Middle East

Unlike nearby Israel, which is also surrounded, Cyprus lacks either a military option or protective fences.
cyprus

Share Button

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

The Republic of Cyprus has entered the maelstrom of the world’s most volatile region thanks to new-found gas and oil reserves combined with an erratic Turkish foreign policy and a civil war in Syria. Even as leaders of this Mediterranean island show skill dealing with these novel threats and opportunities, they need support from a strong U.S. Navy, something not now available.

Cypriot underwater gas and oil discoveries follow directly on ones found earlier in Israeli seas, located adjacent to them and uncovered by the same American (Noble) and Israeli (Delek, Avner) companies. The current estimate of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as well as some oil has a value estimated at US$800 billion, a huge sum amount for a small country whose current GDP is a mere $24 billion.

The great majority of this energy will likely be exported to Turkey or Europe. A pipeline to Turkey would be cheapest and easiest but so long as Turkish troops continue to occupy 36 percent of Cyprus, this will not happen. A recent court decision permitting the Israeli government to decide what quantities of energy to export now offers other possibilities: Cyprus could swap gas with Israel that then goes to Turkey or the two allies could jointly build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Cyprus.

Eventually, should Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria find gas and join the modern world, they too could take part, turning the area between Egypt and Cyprus into a truly major resource; according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the contiguous Nile Delta and Levantine basins together contain an estimated 345 tcf of natural gas and 3.44 billion barrels of oil.

The Nile Delta and Levantine basins together contain an estimated 345 tcf of natural gas and 3.44 billion barrels of oil.

The Nile Delta and Levantine basins together contain an estimated 345 tcf of natural gas and 3.44 billion barrels of oil.

These new-found reserves can help either solve or inflame the Cyprus Problem. The Cypriot government wisely delimited its maritime boundaries with Egypt in 2003, Lebanon in 2007, and Israel in 2010. It has contracted new exploration to France’s Total, Italy’s Eni, and South Korea’s Kogas. Energy-hungry Turkey looms over this treasure, however. Ankara wants its northern Cyprus puppet-state to receive part of the income from the new reserves, while Turkey’s 1974 invasion of the island raises fears that its erratic and roguish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, might invade the republic’s territory.

Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have pursued an ambitious foreign policy of “zero problems with neighbors” which, ironically, has led instead to zero friends. Strained relations with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Serbia raise the prospect of Ankara reverting to an older Turkish pattern and lashing out at Cyprus and Greece. In both cases, for instance, it could encourage disruptive refugee flows.

July 2013 estimates of Syrian refugees show that Cyprus has so far escaped the influx.

July 2013 estimates of Syrian refugees show that Cyprus has so far escaped the influx.

 

This is where the brutal civil war underway in Syria, just 70 miles (110 km) away, enters the equation. So far, that conflict has not had a major impact on Cyprus, but the island’s proximity, its minimal defense capabilities, and its membership in the European Union (meaning, an illegal immigrant setting foot on Cyprus is close to reaching Germany or France) make it exceedingly vulnerable. The 2.2 million refugees from Syria since 2011 have so far bypassed Cyprus in favor of (in descending order) Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq, but that could quickly change if the Alawites living closest to Cyprus take to the sea in sizable numbers. Or if Ankara encourages Syrians to emigrate to northern Cyprus and then to sneak across the border into the republic.

Unlike nearby Israel, which is also surrounded, Cyprus lacks either a military option or protective fences: the personnel of the Turkish armed forces, about 700,000, approximate the size of the entire population in the Republic of Cyprus, about 850,000. Put differently, Turkey’s population outnumbers that of Cyprus by nearly 100 times. But Nicosia can create alliances, especially with Israel, to enhance its security. Israel in turn gains, by combined gas operations, strategic depth for its air force, and a diplomatic friend. As an aide to Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades told me, “We are Israel’s ambassador in the European Union.”

So far, so good. But the United States Navy has been hollowed out in the Mediterranean Sea to the point that Seth Cropsey, a former navy official, describes the 6th Fleet as just a command ship in Italy and a few ballistic missile destroyers in Spain. This force needs urgently to be revitalized to support America’s Levantine allies as tensions further heighten in their immediate region.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org), president of the Middle East Forum, recently visited Cyprus. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Nov. 6, 2013 addendum: A major article by Nicky Hager and Stefania Maurizi, “Cyprus: the home of British/American Internet surveillance in the Middle East,” appeared in the Italian magazine L’Espresso too late for inclusion in the above analysis.

Based on information provided by Edward Snowden, it states that British and U.S. surveillance of the internet “in the Middle East and surrounding regions occurs from a secret base on the island of Cyprus,” making the island “a key site” for mass surveillance systems.

That would be the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) located at Ayios Nikolaos, a separate unit of the larger sovereign British base of Dhekelia. It is called “Sounder” in one report.

Map of the Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia.

Map of the Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia.

This revelation has important implications for the Republic of Cyprus which, as L’Espresso puts it, “relies on the secrecy of the British spying operations to avoid having to explain to neighbouring countries why British and US intelligence agencies spy on them from bases on Cypriot territory.” L’Espresso explains:

Undersea cable maps show Cyprus at the hub of numerous fibre-optic undersea cables making it a natural site to spy on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern communications. A number of cables connect Cyprus to Israel and Syria, obvious targets for Anglo-American spying. Other cables run from Cyprus to Lebanon, Cyprus to Egypt and Turkey, to Greece and Italy, and so on.

The major SEA-ME-WE3 cable connecting South East Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe also comes ashore on the little island country. In total over a dozen strategic cables are accessible in Cyprus and more are planned. It is an ideal site for monitoring communications in the Middle East and surrounding countries.

Some of the listening posts at Ayios Nikolaos, courtesy of Google Maps.

Some of the listening posts at Ayios Nikolaos, courtesy of Google Maps.

The National Security Agency also has a direct role in these surveillance capabilities and U.S. intelligence officers are based in sovereign bases, but they “are required to dress as tourists because the UK has promised the Cyprus government that only British staff will work there.”

Share Button

About the Author: Daniel Pipes is a world-renowned Middle East and Islam expert. He is President of the Middle East Forum. His articles appear in many newspapers. He received his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1978) from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard, Pepperdine, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Chicago. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace and other institutions. His website is DanielPipes.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

5 Responses to “Cyprus Joins the Middle East”

  1. Cyprus is “Chittim” in the bible. In biblical prophecy concerning the “Beast”, the “ships of Chittim come against him” Daniel 11 or 12…I don’t have a bible in front of me.

  2. A deja vue of the old Barbaric Ottoman Empire in progress in 2013 in Cyprus-a big Eye-Opener for this century–Sharia-Free Cyprus it has to be. Thank You.

  3. David Worboys says:

    Well said, Yechiel.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Daniel, why doesn't the newsmedia, the UN, the EU or the Obama administration ever mention that a large amount of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.
Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba
Latest Indepth Stories
Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

Dov Shurin

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

At our seder we emulate the way it was celebrated in Temple times, as if the Temple still stood.

More Articles from Daniel Pipes
The British Library

Daniel Pipes’s websites cannot be accessed through the British Library’s system. Why? Intolerance.

Daniel Pipes,
Apr. 22, 2013

Special Ops used to be about capturing or killing enemies; now it’s about shaping public opinion.

I do not want Barack Obama to pardon Pollard.

As U.S. credibility and stature diminish, the president and his secretaries of state and defense engage in eloquent denial.

BBC: Gaza militants launch missiles at Tel Aviv in 1st rocket attack on Israeli capital since 1991 Gulf War.

In general, the regions these days hosts unchanging, repetitious and dreary news.

Oman will grant Iran a strategic location on a mountain overlooking the whole gulf region.

White racists invented the idea that accomplished black Americans are not Africans but “Moors.”

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lions-den-daniel-pipes/cyprus-joins-the-middle-east/2013/11/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: