Tag Archives: Israel – Turkey relations

Israel: Stealing Turkey’s Gas Market From Iran?

14 Feb

Benjamin Netanyahu has recently been busy, and not just with elections .

According to an article in today’s Israel’s Calcalist publication, over the last few months his government has been carrying out secret negotiations with the Turkish government over the sale of Israeli gas to Turkey.

The deal being discussed involves the construction of an undersea pipe line from Israel’s Leviathan gas field all the way to Turkey.

According to the deal which is being discussed, Israel would sell gas to Turkey. Furthermore, Israeli gas would also be transferred to Europe via Turkish territory.

The Calcalist article goes on to say that the Turks are interested because the price which Israel is offering them is lower than that of Russia which is currently supplying gas to Turkey.

It also says that Iran’s gas supply to Turkey has suffered from interruptions.

Although Netanyahu’s office has denied that a senior member from the Prime Minister’s Office has traveled recently to Turkey to discuss this deal, the Calcalist believes that the Prime Minister is a strong backer of the deal, not only because of economic reasons, but also strategic ones.  The article also mentions a positive response from some Turkish officials and at least one Turkish energy company.

This is still not a done deal. Relations between Israel and Turkey are tense. Nevertheless its good news that economy is bringing the two countries closer together. And if Avigdor Lieberman is jailed then Netanyahu may use his incarceration as an opportunity to repair relations with the Turkish government of Erdogan. This is something which Netanyahu previously wanted to do but was stopped by Lieberman.

Such a deal would serve Israeli interests on several fronts. I am sure hurting Iranian economic interests by replacing Iranian gas with Israeli gas in Turkey is one of them. Lets see what happens.