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Re: G3/S3 - TURKEY/PNA - Turk warships to escort any Gaza aid vessels-Erdogan

Released on 2012-03-10 18:00 GMT

Email-ID 119853
Date 2011-09-08 20:10:02
we need to confirm this from Noble. Cyprus media is highly pushing this -
including Greek Cypriot FM's visit to Israel.


From: "Siree Allers"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Thursday, September 8, 2011 1:04:50 PM
Subject: Re: G3/S3 - TURKEY/PNA - Turk warships to escort any Gaza
aid vessels-Erdogan

Some OS with analysis, things simultaneously going on in Cyprus, etc.

Noble Energy to ignore Turkish threats on Cyprus
8 September 11 12:44, Adi Ben-Israel

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) says that it will push ahead with its
Cypriot offshore exploratory well at Block 12, in spite of warnings from
Turkey not to do so. Block 12 adjoins Israel's Leviathan field.

The "Cyprus Mail" says Cyprus is stuck between a rock and a hard place in
the Turkish-Israeli dispute. If President Demetris Christofias chooses to
push ahead with drilling, he is essentially calling Turkeya**s bluff.
Failure to do so effectively acknowledges Turkeya**s dominion over the

"Cyprus Mail" says that the heightened tension between Israel and Turkey
comes on the back of repeated warnings by Turkish officials against Cyprus
drilling in its exclusive economic zone. While some commentators believe
the feud with Israel may be used as a pretext to build up naval patrols in
seas between Israel and Cyprus, at a time when both latter countries are
discussing collaboration on the extraction and distribution of hydrocarbon
deposits in their respective marine zones, the paper says that current
diplomatic thinking in the region is that Turkey has more important issues
to contend with than create serious problems for the island.

Energy Service head Solon Kassinis told the "Cyprus Mail" that he expects
drilling to start before October 1. Noble Energy will use the Homer
Ferrington rig currently drilling in the Noa field offshore from Ashkelon
in Israela**s exclusive economic zone.

Kassinis said, a**I expected Turkey to bark but I dona**t think they will
do anything because what wea**ve done is based on international law, and
if they want to be considered a country that respects international law,
when it has a network of (oil and gas) pipe lines, charging transit fees,
how can it?"

Kassinis added that any fears from Noble Energy have been assuaged by the
US Embassy in Nicosia which has told the company to go ahead and expedite
the exploration process.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news -
- on September 8, 2011

A(c) Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

Most of this we already know, but this is what other analysts are saying.
The Cyprus econ angle at the bottom is interesting. I believe Peter was
talking about it this morning. [sa]

Analysis: Turkey's gunboat diplomacy makes waves in region
ANKARA | Thu Sep 8, 2011 12:51pm EDT

(Reuters) - Turkey's plan to flex its naval muscles in the eastern
Mediterranean risks being perceived as an over-reaction in Ankara's
dispute with former ally Israel and as an assertion of regional power that
could alienate even its new Arab admirers.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ploy may fuel Western unease over Turkey's
reliability as a NATO partner and its penchant for actions designed to
court popularity in the Muslim world.

Turkey's mix of economic growth and secular democracy under an Islamist
government has fascinated Arab countries eager for a new model, but even
those in the throes of popular uprisings may feel qualms if Ankara starts
throwing its military weight about.

Stung by Israel's refusal to apologize over last year's killing of nine
Turks during an Israeli commando raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza,
Erdogan said Turkish warships would be seen in waters where Israel's navy
operates, raising the risk of a clash between the once close allies.

Bolstered by a booming economy and unprecedented political stability at
home, Turkey has seen its "soft power" rise in the region under Erdogan's
AK Party, rooted in political Islam.

Conservative on social and religious issues and liberal on economic ones,
the AK government has cemented business ties in the Middle East, Central
Asia and Africa and pursued a foreign policy of "zero problems with
neighbors" -- a policy buffeted by the dispute with Israel and tensions
with Syria.

But threats to deploy warships show that Turkey, a prickly NATO member and
European Union candidate, is now tempted to use its military power to push
its interests in a changing region.

"Erdogan is taking a very aggressive stance to assert Turkey's status as a
regional power instead of using the soft power we have seen until
recently," said Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based security analyst.

"There is a sense in the AK Party that Turkey is a major regional power
and that the Mediterranean is its sphere of influence. But NATO and the
West increasingly see Turkey as a loose cannon," he said.

"Turkey played its cards well in the past when it had good relations with
everyone, but now it is playing them very badly."

Jenkins said non-Arab Turkey behaving like a neighborhood bully would be
regarded with grave concern by Arabs, who were subjects of the Ottoman
empire for centuries.

"The Arabs distinguish between a Turkey that stands up to Israel and
engages with them and a Turkey that wants to dominate the entire region,"
Jenkins said.

Omer Taspinar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington,
said Turkey might be using Israel as a convenient punching bag following a
series of diplomatic setbacks and domestic failures, including the Kurdish

Turkey's ties with Syria, a former friend, are near breaking point --
President Bashar al-Assad has defied Turkish calls for him to end a bloody
crackdown on protesters. Shi'ite Iran, another close ally of Turkey, has
reacted frostily to Ankara's decision to host a NATO early-warning radar

"Turkey is going through a difficult period and Israel has given Erdogan
the chance to demonstrate he is a strong leader in a strong country,"
Taspinar said.

"Turkey has experienced a period of economic growth and political
stability and it feels very powerful. But they don't realize there is a
price to pay for this saber-rattling."

A larger presence of Turkish vessels in the eastern Mediterranean would be
unsettling Greece and for the divided island of Cyprus as it eyes oil
drilling exploration.

Turkey says oil deals granted by the Greek Cypriot government, which
represents the island in the European Union, are illegal as the borders of
Cyprus remain undetermined while Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots
pursue reunification talks.

Turkey and Greece, also a NATO member, have a history of territorial
disputes, and their navies were involved in a standoff in 1996 over an
uninhabited islet in the Aegean Sea.


Turkey is NATO's second biggest military and its navy is considered to be
far superior to that of Israel, although the Jewish state is widely
assumed to have submarines that carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

Israel has expanded patrols in the eastern Mediterranean to enforce the
Gaza blockade it says is needed to prevent arms smuggling to the
Palestinian group Hamas and to deter any Lebanese Hezbollah militant
attack on offshore gas platforms.

Few Turkish analysts believe Turkey is planning to send frigates in open
defiance of Israel's blockade of Gaza, which the United Nations has
declared legal, but their mere presence in international waters not far
from Gaza could risk a clash.

It seems implausible that Turkey, as a NATO member, could get involved in
actual hostilities with Israel.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday that the
Turkish-Israeli relationship was a "bilateral matter" and urged the two to
find ways to ease tensions.

However, Erdogan's words that Turkish naval bases have "the power and
opportunity to provide escorts," suggesting that Ankara could put a future
aid flotilla under its protection, set off alarm bells.

"They have created the conditions for another flotilla to challenge the
blockade," said Henri Barkey, a Turkey expert at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace in Washington.

"What is the Turkish navy going to do if another flotilla decides to go
in? They would have to keep their promise and escort the flotilla. This
puts the U.S. administration in a terrible position."

President Barack Obama's administration is keen to smooth ties between its
two most important allies in the Middle East and U.S. diplomats are
working in private to heal the rift.


Some Turkish and Israeli analysts say that Turkey's motive is not to seek
a showdown with Israel over Gaza, but to build up a naval presence between
Cyprus and Israel to create a sense of menace and scare investors away
from the gas fields there.

Turkey has been chafing at Cypriot-Israeli energy deals, and the tensions
with Israel could enable Ankara to send a message without making explicit

"Turkey's emphasis on freedom of navigation is also connected to the
assessment that in the eastern Mediterranean there are natural gas
deposits beyond what have already been discovered," said Gallia
Lindenstrauss of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv

Sinan Ulgen, from the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign
Policy Studies, said Erdogan, known as a temperamental leader, is driven
by public opinion.

Erdogan, who won a third consecutive term in office last June, has become
a hero among Muslims for his stance against Israel and in favor of the

"It is very dangerous for a country when it starts to believe its own
propaganda," Jenkins said.

On 9/8/11 12:53 PM, Kamran Bokhari wrote:

Sure but hitting the MM is very different from taking on a convoy
escorted by battleships. The tactics come into play once we know what
are the intentions of the Turks and how the Israelis intend to respond -
both of which are political decisions.

On 9/8/11 1:50 PM, Nate Hughes wrote:

they hit the Mari Marmara in international waters. Israeli doctrine
dictates hitting them at night under cover of darkness. This entails
hitting them the last night before they hit Gaza waters, since you can
cross the entire span of Gaza waters in a matter of hours even in a
slow ship.

It is the announced intention to run the blockade that Israel has used
for justification in the past, not the physical act of doing so.

Dealing with this while Turkish naval escorts are involved will
profoundly complicate the tactical scenario and make any advantage
Israel can bring to bear, like its greater proficiency at night
operations, only more important.

On 9/8/11 12:46 PM, Kamran Bokhari wrote:

There are two separate types of waters involved here. Clearly
international and those off the Gaza coast. I don't think the
Israelis will do anything in the former. The latter is where it
becomes tricky. Since Gaza is neither a state entity nor a part of
any state, there is a huge debate over the status of its territorial
waters. Israel has a naval presence there. So the question is
whether the Turks would be willing to venture that far. In any case,
watch for an Israeli reaction to this in terms of what they would do
to counter Turkish moves.

On 9/8/11 1:40 PM, Nate Hughes wrote:

keep an eye out for a specific number of aid ships and their
size/capacity as well as specifics of any escorts that might
compose the convoy.

need to be pushing sources on what Turkish rules of engagement
might be. Escorting unarmed ships safely through a proficient navy
blockade -- especially when they know you're coming -- is no small

This looks like diary to me.

On 9/8/11 12:32 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

like we discussed in the blue sky, they could be really serious
this time. let's see if the turks have (re) grown a pair. this
is your time, Pasha!


From: "Marc Lanthemann"
Sent: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:29:55 PM
Subject: G3/S3 - TURKEY/PNA - Turk warships to escort any Gaza
aid vessels-Erdogan

we've heard about this before, but this is from Erdogan himself.
Turk warships to escort any Gaza aid vessels-Erdogan
Thu Sep 8, 2011 4:49pm GMT

Print | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

CAIRO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Turkish warships will escort any
Turkish aid vessels to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks broadcast on Al Jazeera
television on Thursday.

Erdogan also said that Turkey had taken steps to stop Israel
from unilaterally exploiting natural resources from the eastern
Mediterranean, according to Al Jazeera's Arabic translation of
excerpts of the interview, which was conducted in Turkish.
(Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by
Louise Ireland)

Siree Allers

Emre Dogru
Cell: +90.532.465.7514
Fixed: +1.512.279.9468