Skip to main content

Is Turkey-Egypt maritime agreement dead in the water?

Turkey's efforts to secure a demarcation agreement with Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean seem fruitless as Cairo remains indifferent to Ankara's signals.
A picture taken at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul, on June 20, 2019 shows the drilling ship 'Yavuz' scheduled to search for oil and gas off Cyprus. - Turkey is set to send a new ship on June 20 to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, in a move expected to escalate tensions after the EU called on Ankara to stop its "illegal drilling activities". The region near the divided island is believed have rich natural gas deposits, triggering a race between Turkey and the internationally recognised Cyprus, whic
Read in 

Turkey is trying to pull Egypt to Ankara's side in the energy rivalry over the eastern Mediterranean by sending constructive signals to Cairo after Turkish “hard power” tactics in the region failed to bear fruit. Yet Turkey’s courtship seems remains unrequited as Egypt has yet to directly respond to Ankara’s advances.

Ankara’s foreign policy, which is based on the Blue Homeland doctrine calling for a more aggressive posture on maritime rights, envisages that Turkey should mend ties with Egypt and Israel to counter the Cyprus-Greece bloc’s territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean. From Ankara’s vantage point, Egypt could secure a greater maritime jurisdiction area in the contested waters by reaching a maritime deal with Turkey and withdrawing from the deal it reached with Greece and Cyprus. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.