Turkey-Israel Gas Deal Faces Growing Political Obstacles

Diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey will need to be put back on a normal footing if the two countries wish to come to an agreement regarding the import of Israeli gas, according to the Tel-Aviv University affiliated Institute of National Security Studies (INSS).

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has openly criticized Israel for its actions in Gaza, putting a strain on already fragile relations between the two countries, following the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 in which nine Turks were killed, when Israeli commandoes boarded a ship bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Over 10 bids were submitted in March in a tender by the partners in Israel’s 22 tcf Leviathan offshore discovery for the export of natural gas to Turkey. Bidders included Turkey’s Zorlu Group and a joint bid by Turkish firm Turcas Petroleum and German electricity utility RWE (MEES, 28 March). (CONTINUED - 330 WORDS)