Earlier this week we wrote about Israel’s progress toward extracting its gas bounty, and noted that its next challenge will be figuring out how to get that gas to market. It has nearly 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that will likely find its way to Europe by pipeline, either underneath the Mediterranean or overland through Turkey. There were signs earlier this year that a pipeline project might warm Turkish-Israeli relations. But that prospect now seems dim thanks to Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who donned the old tinfoil hat in suggesting that Israel was behind the recent fall of Morsi in Egypt. Bloomberg reports on the implications of Erdogan’s comments:
“Erdogan’s speech blaming Israel for the coup in Egypt pours cold water on the option of Israel cooperating with Turkey on the gas pipeline,” [Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Ramat-Gan, Israel-based Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd.] said by phone yesterday.
Since Turkey imports virtually all of its energy and could use a friendly new source of natural gas, Erdogan’s antagonism hurts his own country the most.