Race for Gas by Cypriot Rivals Adds to Tensions

The island of Cyprus, split by one of Europe’s most intractable ethnic conflicts, is now

the focus of another contest, over who will control the significant natural gas wealth found in

nearby waters.

The question is whether the gas discovery will become an incentive for the two sides to

cooperate, or yet another obstacle to reunification of the island.

The early indications are not promising. The two halves of the island — the mainly Turkish-

speaking north, occupied by Turkey since an invasion 38 years ago, and the internationally

recognized, mainly Greek­speaking Republic of Cyprus in the south — are racing this summer

to see who can tap the gas first.

This competition adds a new layer of potential instability along Europe’s southern fringe,

where the euro crisis has sown political and economic turmoil and relations between Greece

and Turkey, and Turkey and Israel, are already fraught with tensions....continue reading

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